Paris police attacker had contacts with extremists

France's first national anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard (C), next to Head of the French judicial police Christian Sainte (L), speaking about an attack that killed 4 people in Paris last week. (AFP)
Updated 06 October 2019

Paris police attacker had contacts with extremists

  • Investigation had detected signs of 'latent radicalization' in the attacker
  • The killer identified only as Mickael H knifed four co-workers to death at the police headquarters in Paris

PARIS: France's anti-terrorism prosecutor said its investigation had detected signs of "latent radicalization" in the attacker who knifed four co-workers to death at the police headquarters in Paris this week.
The assailant, an IT worker at the headquarters, went on a rampage on Thursday, killing three police officers and an administrative worker, and wounding at least one other, before being shot dead by police.
Officials have not said there was a terrorism motive behind the attack, but handing a case to anti-terrorism prosecutors usually indicates a terrorism link is the focus of inquiries.
The anti-terrorism prosecutor, Francois Ricard, said his office had taken over the probe because of signs the crime was premeditated, of the attacker's desire to die and of the nature of injuries found on at least one of the victims.
"The context of latent radicalisation" and messages of exclusively religious character the attacker sent to his wife shortly before the crime were added factors, Ricard told a news conference.
The investigation also revealed contacts between the attacker and several individuals who are likely to belong to an Islamist Salafist movement, Ricard said.
The killer, 45, has been identified by officials only as Mickael H.
Ricard said that during a "deadly journey" the attacker first stabbed two police officers. A third police officer was killed in another office and an administrative worker died on the stairs.
The attacker was born on the French island of Martinique and had worked at the police headquarters for several years. He converted to Islam about 10 years ago, Ricard said.


Japan may ease virus entry restrictions next month

Updated 23 September 2020

Japan may ease virus entry restrictions next month

  • Tourists would still be banned and only longer-term visas approved, reports said
  • Japan currently bans entry for foreigners from most countries

TOKYO: Japan is considering easing strict coronavirus border restrictions from October to allow more foreign nationals to enter, local media reported Wednesday.
Tourists would still be banned and only longer-term visas approved, the reports said, as the nation looks to rebuild its economy and prepare for the postponed Olympics next year.
Japan currently bans entry for foreigners from most countries, but has been negotiating the gradual resumption of cross-border business travel.
Business visitors are already allowed from seven places — including Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.
This limited travel resumption has not resulted in additional virus cases, so the government is now considering letting in eligible visa-holders from all countries, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported, citing unnamed government sources.
Several other local media outlets reported similar stories, also citing unnamed sources. Arrivals would be capped at 1,000 per day and the minimum stay would be three months, they said.
An immigration agency official could not confirm the reports, saying only that negotiations on business travel resumption were ongoing with several countries.
Government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters that ministers “will study how to resume accepting new visitors while preventing a resurgence of infections.”
“We will deal carefully with the issue while keeping an eye on the virus situation,” he added.
With the postponed Olympics due to open in July, discussions are also ongoing about how to handle the arrival and movements of athletes and spectators.