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The investigation finds evidence of radicalization in the author of the attack on the Paris Police Prefecture

October 5, 2019

PARIS, Oct. 5 (Reuters / EP) –

The French antiterrorist prosecutor's office reported on Saturday that it has detected signs of “latent radicalization” in the attack against the Prefecture of the Paris Police in which four people died last Thursday. The attack was perpetrated by a computer scientist, Mickael Harpon, allegedly radicalized after converting to the Mohammedan religion.

At the moment the terrorist motive has not been confirmed, but the fact that the anti-terrorism prosecutor's office has assumed the investigation indicates that it is the main hypothesis. Now the anti-terrorist prosecutor, François Ricard, explains that he has assumed the investigation of the existence of indications that it is a premeditated crime, the desire of the attacker to die and the nature of the injuries of at least one of the victims.

“The context of latent radicalization” and exclusively religious messages sent by the individual to his wife shortly after the crime are additional factors, Ricard explained at a press conference.

The investigation has also revealed contacts between the attacker and several individuals allegedly belonging to a Salafist Islamist movement, Ricard added, reporting that the attacker stabbed two policemen first. A third police officer was killed in another office and an administrative officer was stabbed on the stairs.

The attacker was born on the island of Martinique and had been working for several years in the Police Prefecture. He converted to Islam ten years ago, Ricard explained.

French media report that Harpon's superiors were aware of “disturbing” behavior and that he had justified the attack on the satirical weekly 'Charlie Hebdo' and that despite this he had recently renewed his security clearance.