The Malian national suspected of stabbing three passengers at a Paris train station was a prolific user of the TikTok social media platform and hinted to his followers about his planned attack.
Le Figaro newspaper named 32-year-old Sagou Gouno Kassogue as the perpetrator arrested by French authorities after setting fire to a backpack and using a knife and a hammer to injure three people, seemingly indiscriminately, at the Gare De Lyon train station shortly after 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Several internet users drew attention to Kassogue’s TikTok account through which he regularly berated France and the West for “impoverishing developing nations” in Africa and claimed that French people would soon “reap the storm” they had sowed for decades.
The Malian national, who was granted asylum in Italy back in 2016, told his 44,000 followers that France was a “terrorist state that finances terrorists” and declared, “I hate all French people,” blaming them for “all the problems on this planet.”
In a video uploaded in December last year, Kassogue hinted that “Allah will welcome me in paradise in three months,” suggesting the attack was religiously motivated, although French authorities claimed the stabbing spree was not terror-related.
“As we speak, there are no elements to suggest that this is a terrorist act,” said Paris police prefect Laurent Nuñez following the attack.
Kassogue also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin calling him “an intelligent man” and “a man of his word,” evidencing the growing influence of Russian-fuelled propaganda in the suspect’s home nation.
The TikTok account has since been deactivated.
Following a psychiatric evaluation, Kassogue’s police custody was lifted late on Saturday, and the Malian was transferred to the psychiatric infirmary at the police headquarters in Paris.