Police in Paris opened fire on a woman in a subway station on Tuesday morning after she reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and threatened to blow herself up.
Sources told local media outlets that the woman made worrying comments to fellow passengers further up the line before arriving at the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand Metro station where she was confronted by officers.
The Paris public prosecutor’s office said the woman then “refused to comply with the police officers’ orders and threatened to blow herself up.”
An officer then shot the woman in the abdomen, according to Actu17, and she received medical treatment at the station before being taken to a hospital. “The woman’s vital prognosis is in jeopardy,” the prosecutor’s office said.
As well as shouting Allahu Akbar, Actu 17 reports, the woman also said multiple times that “everything was going to explode.”
Despite the alleged threats, a bomb squad reportedly failed to find any explosive devices on the woman or at the scene. A police spokesman told Reuters that the woman was “fully veiled.”
The woman is now being investigated on potential charges including making death threats against police as well as justifying terrorism.
A separate investigation has been launched into the conduct of the police officers—a compulsory measure whenever firearms are used by law enforcement in the country.
France has been in its highest state of alert against the threat of terrorism since a 57-year-old school teacher, Dominique Bernard, was stabbed to death in the northern city of Arras as he tried to protect his students on Oct. 13. Suspect Mohammed Mogouchkov, 20, a former student of the school where the attack took place, had been on a police watch list for possible radicalization before the incident.
The French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said there was “no doubt” a link between the knife attack and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. But France had also suffered numerous high-profile attacks over the course of the last decade prior to the escalation in the conflict in the Middle East.
In June, a Syrian refugee injured six people—including four children—in a park in the town of Annecy. And in 2020 another teacher—Samuel Paty—was beheaded by a teenage Islamic terrorist after one of his students falsely accused him of showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed to his class.
Depictions of the Prophet are widely considered taboo in Islam, and the issue is especially sensitive in France. After the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published controversial cartoons of Muhammed, two Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the publication’s offices in Paris. Two others were stabbed outside the magazine’s former headquarters in 2020 after the magazine republished the caricatures.