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.


Rockslide kills Iraqi teen on Austrian mountain

Updated 28 min 22 sec ago

Rockslide kills Iraqi teen on Austrian mountain

  • The teenager was hit in the chest as he was climbing

VIENNA: A rockslide on an Austrian mountain killed a 14-year-old Iraqi boy Sunday as he was climbing toward one of the biggest ice caves in the world on the Tennen mountains.
The teenager was hit in the chest as he climbed at 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) toward the Werfen ice caves, police said.
“Four hundred meters above the site, a rock of about two cubic meters in volume broke away after heavy rains on Saturday,” said geologist Gerald Valentin.
The Werfen ice caves, which stretch 42 kilometers (26 miles), were discovered in 1879 and are considered to be the largest network of ice caves in the world, attracting up to 2,500 visitors a day in high season.