Macron vows 'unrelenting fight' against Islamists

French President pays tribute to the four Paris police staff stabbed to death by radicalized colleague.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Macron attends ceremony to honor victims of Paris stabbing
Macron attends ceremony to honor victims of Paris stabbing
Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday vowed an "unrelenting fight" against Islamist extremists as he paid tribute to the four Paris police staff stabbed to death last week by a radicalized colleague.

"We will wage an unrelenting fight in the face of Islamist terrorism," Macron told a ceremony at the police headquarters where the attack took place, according to AFP.

Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old computer expert in the police intelligence-gathering department, used a kitchen knife and an oyster shucker to kill three male and one female colleague in a 30-minute rampage last Thursday that ended when an officer shot him in the head.

On the weekend, investigators found evidence that Harpon had supported Salafism, an extreme version of Islam.

The killings have raised questions about how he managed to avoid detection by the police, despite having top-level security clearance.

France's interior minister, Christophe Castaner, acknowledged on Sunday that officials should have kept a closer eye on Harpon. These comments came after he initially claimed that Harpon had never given the "slightest reason for alarm" ahead of Thursday's attack.

An internal report on Harpon quoted by France 24 on Monday said he showed signs of radicalizing in 2015 but “no problem” since.

The four-page police prefecture report says “several” of Harpon’s colleagues “revealed having noticed in the past … signs of radicalization”. They “alerted their superiors" or sought advice from colleagues "specialized in such matters” as a result.

In the report, Françoise Bilancini, who heads the Paris Police Prefecture’s Intelligence Directorate (DRPP), writes that those items of information only came to her attention “in the course of informal discussions” after Thursday’s deadly attack.

Macron on Tuesday said it was "inconceivable and unacceptable" that Harpon, who had worked for the police since 2003, had managed to carry out an attack "in the very place where we pursue terrorists and criminals".

"Your colleagues fell under the blows of a distorted, deadly Islam which we must eradicate," he told police, according to AFP.

France has been hit by a wave of terrorist attacks in recent years, beginning with the 2015 attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine which was followed by the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in which four people were murdered.

Since those attacks, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.

The country has been under a heightened alert in recent years in the wake of the attacks.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




top