Terror investigation launched following Eiffel Tower incident

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PARIS (AP) - A young French man who recently was discharged from a psychiatric hospital is under investigation for an attempted terrorist attack after he brandished a knife and tried to breach security at the Eiffel Tower, authorities said Sunday.

The intruder, aged around 19, reportedly has a history of psychological problems.

According to the website of the newspaper "Le Parisien", the man carrying a knife was arrested while trying to force entry into one of the security checks on the Eiffel Tower on Saturday around 11:30 pm local time, shouting "Allah Akbar" when he acted.

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The man, who was apparently alone, was "very quickly overpowered and arrested" and nobody was hurt, a statement from the company that runs the monument said.

According to Reuters, the suspect told police he wanted to attack a soldier and that he'd been communicating with the Islamic State, who encouraged him to go ahead with the attack.

In February, a man armed with a machete attacked four soldiers on patrol at Paris's Louvre Museum, while in April another extremist shot and killed a policeman on the Champs Elysees.

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French police have had extended powers since the terror attacks in November 2015 which left 130 people dead.

Although a French national, the man was born in Mauritania, an African Arab nation, in 1998.

The suspect was apparently also convicted past year for making death threats and "defending terrorism", for which he was given a four-month suspended sentence.

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He was wearing a Paris Saint-Germain football shirt.

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