French police say they have arrested a man who tried to drive a car into a crowd outside a mosque in the Paris suburb of Créteil on Thursday evening (June 29).
The driver apparently failed to get past protective barriers and no one was injured. The mosque’s managers said several hundred people had been gathered there for the prayer.
Worshipers were shocked to have narrowly avoided a “catastrophe,” said Karim Benaissa, the rector of the mosque.
“We’re wondering what the man’s motives were – he apparently wanted to cause harm,” he added.
The driver tried to flee the scene but was arrested at his home.
His motives were not immediately clear. The prosecutor’s office told the AFP news agency he was not driving under the influence of alcohol.
Le Parisien newspaper reported that the driver said he wanted to avenge attacks on the Bataclan concert hall and the Champs-Élysées, both claimed by the self-styled Islamic State militant group.
The incident comes 10 days after a man rammed a van into a crowd of worshipers outside a mosque in Finsbury Park in London, killing one man and injuring several others.