After the attack in Paris on Saturday, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, denounced Monday, December 4, on BFM-TV/RMC, that there had been “a failure [in the psychiatric follow-up]” of the suspect . “The doctors, on several occasions, considered that he was doing better and that he could live, if I dare say, freely. (…) There is someone mentally ill who no longer takes their [treatment] and who acts out,” he declared, also believing that “the services of the Ministry of the Interior [ had] done their best”.

The suspect in the attack, in which one person was killed and others were injured with knives and hammers, had served four years in prison following a conviction for a planned violent action in La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine). He was also subject to psychiatric “monitoring”, without hospitalization, which expired in April 2023 after successive reports from the coordinating doctor which did not conclude that there was a need to resume medication monitoring.

On Monday, the Minister of the Interior reiterated his desire to create an “administrative injunction” in parallel with the judicial injunction, which currently allows a judge to order medical monitoring. To date, “the prefect cannot ask, (…) force someone to appear before the psychiatrists to find that this person is clearly not doing well; That’s what needs to change, it seems to me,” he said. According to Mr. Darmanin, around “30% of people monitored for radicalization suffer from psychiatric disorders; (…) that’s a lot of people.”

“Everything is in place to avoid attacks during the Olympics”

For his part, the government spokesperson, Olivier Véran, affirmed Monday morning, on RTL, that the suspect’s “medical, administrative and penal” course was “in accordance with what was prescribed and the Rule of Law.” Like Mr. Darmanin, the spokesperson considered that his action raised the question of “the adaptation of the law”: “These obligations were fulfilled and, however, he was able to kill. So should the law be strengthened in order to prevent this type of tragedy from reappearing one day? For example, the question arises of having an extension of the treatment order when it comes to people who combine psychiatric pathology and radicalization. »

Especially since “terrorism mutates and uses flaws in our system”, also affirmed Mr. Darmanin, referring to the radicalization of the suspect on the Internet even though he said the opposite and that neither surveillance nor listening to his communications did not make it possible to detect it. Asked about the possibility of new terrorist attacks, particularly during the Olympic Games (JO) in Paris in 2024, the minister said he had “this apprehension every day, every night” although he “knows that there are police officers, very courageous intelligence services” who prevent many attacks.

“The security that is put in place for the Olympics, like the security that was put in place for the Rugby World Cup, is security that ensures that all events likely to bring together crowds are events in which you will have no risk of coming across individuals like him, assured Mr. Véran. Everything is in place to avoid attacks during the Olympics, but we do not think in terms of the Olympics, we think in terms of daily life for the French. »