French authorities investigating Thursday’s knife attack at Paris police headquarters, in which three officers and an administrative employee were killed, 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 before he was shot and killed, likely adhered to “a radical vision of Islam”, anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard announced at the weekend.
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.
The office of the French president has announced that a special ceremony in honour of the victims will be held, in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, at the Paris police headquarters on Tuesday.