Following an attack by a machete-wielding man yesterday, the Louvre Museum in Paris reopens, less than 24 hours after the incident. The world famous museum with thousands of known art works, such as the “Mona Lisa,” closed immediately after the attack.
After buying two machetes at a gun store in Paris, the assailant attacked French soldiers who were guarding the building and was shot four times. The man inflicted minor injuries onto a soldier during the attack. French President Francois Hollande is sure the incident was a terror attack and will be answering questions soon.
The attacker was identified as 28-year-old Abdullah Reda al-Hamamy from Egypt, by an Egyptian Interior Ministry official. The official told The Associated Press that an initial investigation found no record of political activism, criminal activity, or membership in any militant group. He is said to be living in the United Arab Emirates and arrived in Paris on January 26th on a tourist visa.
The father of the suspect, Reda Refae al-Hamamy, was interviewed on Dubai-based news channel al-Hadath that aired Saturday. He said he was shocked to learn of his son’s alleged involvement in the attack at the Museum and says he is a very normal young man, claiming, “This is all a scenario made up by the French government to justify the soldiers opening fire.”
Hamamy is married and the father of a 7-month-old child, and he told his father he was intending to see the tourist attractions in Paris before he left France, sending his father a picture of himself in front of the Eiffel Tower shortly before the incident. His brother was interrogated for hours by security officials in the United Arab Emirates, as well as family members in the Nile Delta in Egypt on Friday night.
After the attack, museum goers expressed mixed emotions, some even planning to leave Paris earlier than they had originally intended. Others felt that the heightened security presence following the incident made them feel safer. One visitor laughed and said it was a phenomena that can be attributed to one disturbed individual.
The United Arab Emirates condemned the attack but offered no comment about the suspect’s possible connection to the country.