A man who fatally stabbed two young female cousins Sunday while reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" outside Marseille's train station had been detained for shoplifting and released the day before the attack, French authorities said.
The man also had seven fake identities, used in previous encounters with police, officials said Monday. One such identity named him as “Ahmed H,” born in 1987 in Tunisia.
French authorities are studying the suspect's cellphone and working to determine his true identity and whether he had direct links to ISIS, which claimed responsibility for Sunday's stabbing. The assailant was killed by soldiers immediately after the attack, the latest of several targeting France.
The suspect was identified by his fingerprints, which matched those taken during seven previous incidents registered by police since 2005, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters.
The man was held overnight for shoplifting, and then released Saturday and the charges dropped, Molins said. Molins said local authorities had no reason to hold him further based on the ID he gave them, a Tunisian passport.
He told Lyon authorities that he did odd jobs, used hard drugs and was divorced. It's not clear if the attacker had any connection to the victims, two cousins meeting for a birthday celebration in Lyon, Molins said.