October 1. A 29-year-old illegal immigrant from Tunisia stabbed two women to death at the central train station in Marseille. Witnesses heard the assailant shout “Allahu Akbar” as he lunged at the women with a 20-centimetre (eight-inch) knife before threatening soldiers, who shot him dead. The man, identified as Ahmed Hanachi, was using seven different identities and had a long criminal history. He had been arrested in Lyon for shoplifting just days before the attack, but those charges were dropped due to a lack evidence. He was released, despite not having the documents needed to live in France. Why he was never deported remains unclear.
October 2. Five people were arrested in Paris after police found four makeshift bombs at a building in the 16th arrondissement, one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Police said there was no one living in the apartment block who might be considered a target for jihadists. Interior Minister Gérard Collomb surmised that the bomb was simply meant to create fear: “Blowing up a building in a posh neighborhood shows that no one is safe…that it could happen anywhere in France.” He added: “This shows that the level of the threat in France is extremely high…yes, even if the Islamic State has suffered military setbacks, we are still in a state of war.”