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.


Poll: Jacinda Ardern on course for New Zealand election victory

Updated 27 September 2020

Poll: Jacinda Ardern on course for New Zealand election victory

  • Support for Jacainda Ardern’s Labour Party is at to 50.1 percent
  • Should the poll findings materialize, Ardern would govern without relying on any coalition partners

SYDNEY: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is poised to retain power at next month’s election, a widely watched poll showed on Sunday, although it said a recent COVID-19 outbreak has dented her support slightly.
A Newshub-Reid Research Poll released on Sunday showed support for Ardern’s Labour Party at to 50.1 percent, though this is down from the record 60.9 percent recorded earlier this year when New Zealand was widely lauded as a world leader in battling COVID-19.
Support for the main opposition National Party was at 29.6 percent, up 4.5 percentage points.
Should the poll findings materialize, Ardern would govern without relying on any coalition partners.
New Zealand was COVID-free for 102 days until a second wave hit Auckland last month.
Ardern became the country’s youngest leader in more than 150 years in 2017 after the kingmaker nationalist New Zealand First Party agreed to form a government with her Labour Party, ending the National Party’s decade in power.
Ardern, 40, also holds huge global appeal due to her response to last year’s attack by a white supremacist on two mosques, a fatal volcanic eruption and her success with the COVID-19 outbreak.