France: The 32-year-old Syrian who stabbed children in Annecy passed through Greece

Annecy, France

More and more revelations are becoming known about the life and actions of Abdelmasih H, who stabbed six young children and adults in a park in France.

"He travelled to Greece before he settled in Sweden," revealed the mother of 32-year-old, who is in custody after his rampage in Annecy.

As the 32-year-old's mother reports, in more detail, to Agence France-Presse, at the beginning of the civil war in Syria, in 2011, her son illegally entered Turkey, where he met his future wife of Syrian origin.

"The couple then traveled to Greece before settling in Sweden. Abdalmasih H and his wife lived under the same roof for ten years. In 2013 he was granted refugee status. There he married his partner, who acquired Swedish citizenship. Together they had a little girl, who is now three years old," added the mother.

The perpetrator's profile and the shocking testimonies

As the French press points out, the Syrian terrorist does not have a serious medical history. However, residents of the town of Annecy told French media that the attacker walked to the scene of the crime almost every day.

"He would sit for hours on a bench and talk to himself", as one of the residents who had seen him several times in the last few days pointed out.

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Several women told the French network "BFMTV" that he had been in the area for over a month and was behaving strangely.

"We wondered if he was on medication," claimed one of them, who described him as a person who often talked to himself, liked to isolate himself, and there were times when he appeared agitated.

In their attempt to outline the profile of the perpetrator, the authorities attempt to collect as much evidence as possible from his environment about his character and behaviour. What they do is that he is a 32-year-old Syrian man who left his Swedish wife and three-year-old child to settle in France.

The attacker's motives are still unclear so far, while "there is no obvious terrorist motive," according to the prosecutor's office.

The Syrian refugee was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he stabbed the young children and the two adults, he had no permanent residence and had been in Annecy since the fall of 2022.

Before he began stabbing young children who were casually playing in the park, he shouted "In the name of Jesus" ... When he was arrested yesterday by the authorities, he was wearing a cross and holding a prayer book.

The killer's mother, who has lived in the US for the past decade, said her son suffers from "severe depression". As she claimed to AFP, the refusal of the Swedish authorities to grant him citizenship appears to have "driven him crazy".

In 2013, Abdelmasih H, a Syrian citizen, was granted refugee status in Sweden, where he lived with his family for 10 years. He failed to obtain Swedish citizenship and therefore decided to leave the country.

"We divorced because I didn't want to leave Sweden," his ex-wife told AFP yesterday.

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In a new asylum application he filed in November 2022 after arriving in France alone, he declared himself a "Christian from Syria," according to a police source.

According to Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin, French authorities informed him last Sunday (4 June) that he could not be granted asylum in France unless he was granted Swedish citizenship.

Asked if there was a possible link between the authorities' refusal and the suspect's act, the French minister said it was a "disturbing coincidence".

President Emmanuel Macron, for his part, condemned yesterday's massacre as an "attack of absolute cowardice" and noted that "the nation is in a state of shock".

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Today, Macron will visit the square with the playground, where yesterday the 32-year-old spread terror and panic by stabbing six people: four small children and two adults.

"After yesterday's attack, the President of the Republic and his wife will be today at the side of the victims and their families as well as all the people in the city of Annecy who helped and supported them," the Élysée said in its statement.

Earlier, the French presidential couple visited the hospital in Grenoble, where two of the four children who were injured are being treated and are in a serious condition. The other two children have been taken to a hospital in Geneva.

According to the Prime Minister of France, Elizabeth Bourne, the four children who have been injured are in a stable condition and can undergo surgery, reports the French newspaper "Le Figaro".

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