President Donald Trump said Friday that the United States must “get smart” after a machete-wielding man attacked security forces at the Louvre museum in Paris while yelling “Allahu akbar” (“God is greatest”).
Trump said the attacker was a “radical Islamic terrorist,” using a term he has used previously to describe such attackers.
“A new radical Islamic terrorist has just attacked in Louvre Museum in Paris. Tourists were locked down. France on edge again. GET SMART U.S.,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
In a briefing earlier this week, a senior US administration official defended the temporary US travel ban on refugees and other travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries by saying America was trying to avoid the security situation in France and other European countries.
“The reality, though, is that the situation that exists today in parts of France, in parts of Germany, in Belgium, et cetera, is not a situation we want replicated inside the United States,” the official said, warning against a “large and permanent domestic terror threat.”
“We don’t want a situation where, 20 to 30 years from now, it’s just like a given thing that on a fairly regular basis there is domestic terror strikes, stores are shut up or that airports have explosive devices planted, or people are mowed down in the street by cars and automobiles and things of that nature,” the official added.
Police held hundreds of tourists in secure areas of the renowned museum in central Paris after the assailant was shot five times around 10.00am (0900 GMT) in a public area inside the Louvre complex.
The attacker is in a serious condition, while one soldier received a “minor” head wound and has been taken to hospital, security forces said.
Two backpacks carried by the assailant were checked by bomb disposal specialists at the scene and were found not to contain explosives.
The incident sparked fresh jitters in a country still reeling from a string of terror attacks over the last two years and under a state of emergency since November 2015.