France has mobilized 7,000 troops and is on high alert after school stabbings and mosque knife arrests.

Saturday’s mobilization announcement came after President Macron held an emergency security cabinet meeting on Friday evening.


France is mobilizing 7,000 troops and raising its alert level to “emergency attack” level. In the northeastern city of Arras, a teacher died Friday after being stabbed to death by a former student who documented Islamic radicalization.

President Emmanuel Macron made the decision after convening an emergency meeting of his defense cabinet on Friday night.

Macron has described the stabbing, which seriously injured two other staff at the school, as “Islamic terrorism”.

“Up to 7,000 soldiers from the Sentinelle Corps, they will be stationed between now and Monday evening and until further notice,” the Elysee Palace said Saturday morning.

What happened in Arras?

French authorities have launched counter-terrorism investigations since the Arras attack.

Local police say a man armed with a knife killed a teacher and wounded two others at a high school with a population of 41,000 on Friday morning. The attacker was arrested on the spot.

The incident took place at Gambetta High School, located in the heart of the city, and police say the attacker shouted “Allah Akbar” – “God is great” in Arabic.

He has been named as 18-year-old Muhammed Mokochkov, a former pupil of the school of Chechen origin who was the subject of “active surveillance” by DGSI, France’s Directorate-General for Internal Security.

Mogouchkgov was detained and searched last week, but was released because there were no grounds to arrest him, officials said.

No high school students were injured in the attack, but a guard and a teacher were seriously injured after suffering multiple stab wounds.

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Macron visits the scene and then holds a security cabinet meeting

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the school on Friday afternoon and called on people to be “united” and “stand together” in the face of the “barbarity of Islamic terrorism”.

Speaking in the courtyard of a building near the school where the deadly attack took place on Friday morning, Macron said: “We must not give in to terrorism and let nothing divide us.”

Later on Friday evening, Macron held an emergency meeting of his defense cabinet in Paris.

Following the confirmation of the second security incident, the meeting was attended by senior government ministers, police, military and intelligence officials.

A 24-year-old man known as an “extremist” was arrested and taken into police custody after leaving a mosque in Limay, a suburb of Paris, in possession of a knife.

The Versailles public prosecutor’s office confirmed the man’s arrest.

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