Investigators find signs of radicalisation in Paris knife attacker

An IT worker at the city's police headquarters went on a rampage on Thursday, killing four co-workers

Police officers control an area outside the Paris police headquarters, Thursday, Oct.3, 2019 in Paris. An administrator armed with a knife attacked officers inside Paris police headquarters Thursday, killing at least four before he was fatally shot, officials said. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor said on Saturday that the man who killed four of his co-workers at the police headquarters in Paris this week showed signs of “latent radicalisation”.

The assailant, an IT worker at the headquarters, went on a rampage on Thursday, killing three police officers and an administrative worker, wounding at least another before being shot dead by police.

The police headquarters in Paris are next to the Notre-Dame cathedral in the city centre.

Although officials have not indicated that there was a terrorist motive behind the attack, the case is being handled by anti-terrorism prosecutors.

The anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Richard said his office took over the investigation because of the signs the crime was premediated, of the assailant’s desire to die and the nature of injuries found on at least one of the victims.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Mr Ricard said that there was a "context of latent radicalisation” and that there were more than 30 text messages of religious character sent by the attacker to his wife shortly before the incident.

The 45-year-old, named in the media as Mickaël H, had converted to Islam about ten years ago. He was born on the French island of Martinque and had worked at the headquarters for several years.

The probe also revealed that the perpetrator had contacts in the Islamist Salafist movement, Mr Ricard said.