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According to French media reports, martial arts, the Middle Ages, Japanese pop culture and right-wing extremists are among the interests of the 28-year-old, who slapped French President Macron on Tuesday while attending high school. The attacker, identified as Damien T., has since been taken into custody along with another 28-year-old man, reports Arthur C. Le Monde.
During the slap, the man screamed “Montjoie! Holy Denis! A bas la Macronie! “ (Montjoie! Saint Denis! Down with Macronland), a royalist phrase inspired by a war cry of the Kingdom of France from the 12th century. “Montjoie, Saint-Denis” is a reference to the banner of Charlemagne, which French kings once drew into battle. Damien T. appears to be a medieval enthusiast, with social media accounts following both royalist sites and those related to medieval and fantasy universes. The slapper also practices the modern Japanese martial art kendo, as well as historical European martial arts that he teaches.
Damien T.’s Facebook and Instagram accounts show a fascination for far-right influencers who follow a variety of accounts but rarely publish political content. Le Parisien describes the suspect’s profile as “ideological pulp” and cites a “source close to the matter”.
Neither Damien T. nor the second man were known to the police. When their homes were searched after the arrests, weapons and a copy of Mein Kampf were found in the second man’s house, according to several media outlets. Le Parisien reports that the guns were legally in possession.
The slap took place in the small southeastern town of Tain l’Hermitage as part of the second leg of Macron’s whistle-stop tour of the country.