Macron slap: Weapons, Mein Kampf, far-right influence linked to suspects

By Shweta Desai

PARIS (AA) – French police have reportedly recovered weapons and a copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography from the house of one of the suspects involved in Tuesday’s public slapping of President Emmanuel Macron.

Citing sources, local cable channel BFMTV reported that Mein Kampf and the weapons were found at the residence of an individual identified as Arthur C., who is thought to have filmed Macron being slapped by Damien Tarel, 28, in the village of Tain-l'Hermitage. The weapons included both handguns and long-barreled guns.

Arthur and Tarel, who were both arrested immediately after the assault, are residents of the Drome region, which Macron visited on Tuesday. They reportedly do not have any criminal records and were previously unknown to the police.

Tarel is charged with willful violence against a person holding public office. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison and a fine of €45,000 ($55,000).

Based on Tarel’s social media profiles which were active for a short while after their arrests, French media reports said he was influenced by medieval history, right-wing groups, and gaming culture. He had founded two associations for enthusiasts of historical European martial arts and board games with figurines.

His Instagram account showed a photo of him dressed as a knight with black headgear and a long sword by his side.

On YouTube he had subscribed to channels of the far-right figures such as Henry de Lesquen, convicted in 2017 of racial hatred and Holocaust denial, and Cercle Richelieu, a proponent of restoring the French monarchy.