“The perpetrator then inquired of several passersby ‘by speaking in French and in a foreign language, asking them for their nationality,’ stabbing people in accord with their answers.”
It is highly likely that he stabbed people whose nationality suggested they were non-Muslim.
“Marseille: Man shot dead by the police after stabbing attack,” translated from “Marseille: Un homme mortellement neutralisé par balles par la police, après une attaque à l’arme blanche,” February 19, 2019:
7:50 p.m.. The assailant, Karim L., was released from prison in October 2018, according to a source close to the investigation. The 36-year-old man was involved in a murder case in 2003 and was known to police for acts of violence and assault with a knife.
7:35 p.m.. The prosecution announces that the anti-terrorist section of the public prosecutor’s office of Paris has not been involved at this stage of the investigation. The incident is being considered a common crime.
“It’s a common crime. There is nothing that leads us, at the moment, to consider it as a terrorist act, but we continue to investigate,” said the public prosecutor of Marseille, Xavier Tarabeux, at a press conference.
19.30. The attacker arrived from the Old Port and walked towards the Noailles sector, according to a police source quoted by Le Figaro. The perpetrator then inquired of several passersby “by speaking in French and in a foreign language, asking them for their nationality,” stabbing people in accord with their answers.
6:40 p.m.. The victims are 3 men aged 23, 27 and 35, and a woman aged 52. Two of them were transported to the hospital, while the other two were wounded slightly.
6:20 p.m.. The perpetrator was known to the police in particular for a murder case in 2003, but not to anti-terror intelligence or internal intelligence, according to La Provence.
6:05 p.m.. The attacker is dead. He was 36 years old.