Thursday marks the first anniversary of the tragic Charlie Hebdo attack that claimed the lives of 11 people, including cartoonists Jean Cabut and Stéphane Charbonnier and further injuring 11 more civilians. The attack unleashed 12 hellish months for the French capital, jolting a nation of over 66 million people.
As tributes are paid and memories are upheld, a knife-wielding man storms the entrance of a police station near the Montmartre neighborhood, which was home to the Sacre Coeur Cathedral while shouting, "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!" Paris policemen shot the man to death.
According to the NY Post, the assailant who was later on identified as 20-year old Sallah Ali was a Moroccan-born homeless man busted on a robbery charge in 2013. He was wearing a fake explosives vest and was carrying a paper adorned with the ISIS logo and "an unequivocal written claim of responsibility in Arabic."
The authorities also found a cellphone but have yet to find any other significant details regarding the claim. A robot was used to detect if there are any bombs within the man's possession. Authorities also believe that this is an isolated case and no one else is involved.
Moments before, French President Francois Hollande was paying tribute to the officers who died in the line of duty during the horrendous attack last year. "We must be able to force these people -and only these people- to fulfill certain obligations and if necessary to put them under house arrest ... because they are dangerous," he said.
During the commotion, the Goutte d'Or neighbourhood in Paris' 18th arrondissement, a well known multi-ethnic district near the Gare du Nord train station, was briefly locked down, and two metro lines running through the area were halted. They were once again in operation after two hours.
Two other schools were also put under lockdown as the police cleared out hundreds of people within the perimeter. Stores were also ordered to stop operations and shop owners quickly lowered the metal shutters.
A civilian named Nora Borria said that she wasn't able to get to her home because of the barricades set up by the police. "It's like the Charlie Hebdo affair isn't over," she says of the incident.
Paris has been in the center of terrorist attacks in the last few months. Apart from the Charlie Hebdo attack that shook the world, the city was once again plagued by blood baths. 130 were killed at a concert hall, bars and restaurants last November during a coordinated attack claimed by ISIS.
President Hollande has been relentless in his pursuit for revenge as a few days after, jets were set off to bomb Syrian ISIS camps.
Laurent Sourisseau, the current editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo and cartoonist better known for his pen name, Riss said that "security is a new expense for the newspaper budget."
"This past year we've had to invest nearly 2 million euros to secure our office, which is an enormous sum," he explained. "We have to spend hundreds of thousands on surveillance of our offices, which wasn't previously in Charlie's budget, but we had an obligation so that employees feel safe and can work safely."