The unprecedented case involving the fatal stabbings of four officers by a colleague at Paris police headquarters on Tuesday will be handled by anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office, local reports say.
The government, however, clarified that the findings available so far do not in any way prove that 45-year-old Mickael H, who converted to Islam 18 months ago, was driven by extremist views to commit the heinous crime.
That someone converted to Islam does not mean the person has been radicalised, said Sibeth Ndiaye, a government spokeswoman.
Ndiaye told people not to be misled by fake news being circulated about the case on social media.
However, a terrorist motive cannot be ruled out.
The suspect was working as an administrative officer in the IT wing of police intelligence for 23 years.
According to Franceinfo, the suspect’s wife told police he had visions and heard voices the night before the knife attacks. He also looked agitated and made incoherent remarks.
She said her husband felt he was not sufficiently appreciated by his superiors and did not receive the promotion he very well deserved.
Patricia, a friend of the attacker, remembered him as a good Muslim who lived in peace with his family and neighbours.
He wanted to leave the service because he had some ‘internal’ problem. Patricia was probably hinting at his workplace dispute with bosses over promotion.
Police chief Didier Lallement told a media conference that Tuesday’s incident has shaken him since it involved colleagues in the police headquarters and the suspect was a role model for other employees.
Like others in the intelligence division, the attacker too had undergone a high level of security screening, Lallement added.
The man was 70% deaf and he had two children.
The attacks came a day after officers staged rallies across France to protest against long shifts and overtime amid mounting suicides in the police force.
Hundreds of officers observed a moment of silence for the victims of Tuesday’s attack in front of the police headquarters in Paris, above, (Photo Credit: Préfecture de police)