Published On: Sun, Oct 6th, 2019

Paris attack: Police worker who murdered colleagues linked to ‘radical Islamist group’ | World | News

Michael Harpon, 45, was shot dead by police after a terrifying rampage near the Notre Dame cathedral yesterday. When his wife was arrested immediately after the rampage she allegedly told officers Harpon had “heard voices” and was “incoherent and suffered a dementia attack” the night before the attack. A raid on the couple’s home in Paris promoted a national enquiry for “assassination of a public servant in relation to a terrorist enterprise”.

Records taken from his computer as well as telephone intercepts reportedly have linked Harpon to “a radical Islamist group”.

Detectives are yet to confirm whether the group in question is ISIS, al-Qaeda or another extremist terror organisation.

Harpon’s wife remains in custody and is also said to have offered evidence against her husband.

She is communicating through the use of sign language.

On Thursday, four police officers – three women and one men – died after the knife attack at the Police Prefecture in the afternoon, a French police union official confirmed.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo confirmed that “several people” were fatally wounded.

The attacker was stopped by another police officer at the headquarters and he was shot dead.

The French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the attacker was a 45-year-old man who had been employed by the police working in admin since 2003.

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Harpon was to be a member of staff at the headquarters, a police union source and a police source told Reuters.

The stabbing was not regarded as a terrorist attack, despite reports of links between him and a terror group.

The Metro station near the scene of the attack was closed for security reasons, the RATP public transport authority said on Twitter.

France’s former interior minister Gerard Collomb expressed his condolences on Twitter.

He said: “I’ve learned with emotion the tragedy that occurred at the beginning of the afternoon at the police headquarters of Paris.

“All my thoughts are of course with the families of the victims.

“I also want to express my support to all the staff, whose emotions I can’t even imagine at this moment.”

The area around the Paris Police HQ was sealed off.

A spokesman for Paris police said he had no comment on the attack.

The Metro station Cité on line 4 was closed.

The attack came a day after thousands of officers marched in Paris to protest against low wages, long hours and increasing suicides in their ranks.

President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe attended the scene yesterday.

The Elysee Palace said in a statement: ”The President of the Republic went to the police station to show his support and solidarity to all the staff.”

Harpon converted to Islam 18 months before the attack.


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