The incident in which a man and his passenger tried to run over troops outside an army base in south-eastern France was not terror-related, a local prosecutor has said.
The pair were initially reported to have yelled death threats in Arabic – but Grenoble Prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat told that ‘there was no religious talk, no Allahu Akbar pronounced’.
‘This is quite clearly not a case of terrorism,’ he said.
The incident caused a flurry of alarm because it came soon after and ISIS terrorist went on the rampage in southern France last Friday, killing four people.
It was the first militant attack since President Emmanuel Macron lifted a state of emergency in November.
A spokesman for the army’s land regiments based in the Isere region told Reuters earlier soldiers had told police the driver first passed them shouting abuse in Arabic, before returning and attempting to run them down. No one was hurt in the incident.
‘There were a good 10 of them jogging outside their barracks. He targeted one group of four, but none were hit,’ the Isere land forces spokesman said.
The suspect was arrested in a stolen Peugeot 208 in Grenoble, about nine miles north of Varces-Allieres-et-Risset, where the incident took place.
Coquillat said the 25-year-old man was known to authorities for petty crime and had spent some time in prison. He was found drunk, passed out at the wheel of the car.
‘There was no radicalization during this period and this person was totally unknown to counter-terrorism services’, Coquillat said.