05.10.2019 Europe

Paris police attacker adhered to 'radical vision of Islam'

REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
LISTEN OCT 5, 2019
REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

French authorities investigating Thursday's knife attack at Paris police headquarters, in which three officers, an administrative employee and the attacker lost their lives, say the perpetrator had contacts with members of the Salafist movement, and adhered to a radical vision of Islam.

The staff member at Paris police headquarters who stabbed four colleagues to death seems to have adhered to "a radical vision of Islam", anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard announced on Saturday.

The assailant, a 45-year-old computer expert, was in contact with members of the Salafist Islamist movement, Ricard told reporters.

The attacker "agreed with certain atrocities committed in the name of that religion" and defended the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015, Ricard said.

He had also changed his attire in recent months and wished to no longer "have certain kinds of contact with women".

Three police officers and an administrative worker -- three men and a woman -- died in the frenzied 30-minute attack on Thursday at the police headquarters, a stone's throw from the Notre-Dame cathedral in the historic heart of Paris.

The assailant was eventually shot dead by police.
Two other people were injured in the Thursday lunchtime stabbing spree that sent shock waves through an embattled French police force already complaining of low morale.

Sources at the Paris prosecutor's office said on Friday the case had been passed to the anti-terrorist prosecutor's office after early enquiries suggested that the attacker, a convert to Islam, could have become radicalised.

He had worked in a section of the police service dedicated to collecting information on jihadist radicalisation.

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