Monday 21 October 2019

Slain police 'victims of Islamic terrorism' - Macron

Homage: French President Macron at tribute to dead at Paris police HQ. Photo: REUTERS
Homage: French President Macron at tribute to dead at Paris police HQ. Photo: REUTERS

Thomas Adamson in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron led a national tribute yesterday to the four police employees slain in last week's knife attack in Paris, calling them "victims of Islamic terrorism".

At a ceremony at the police headquarters where they were stabbed to death in last Thursday's rampage, a solemn Mr Macron endured drizzle as he paid homage to the three police officers and one police administrator killed by their own colleague, a 45-year-old deaf technology administrator and Muslim convert.

"They had made the choice to wear the uniform, to devote their lives to protecting others. They died in service, at work," said Mr Macron, who also met privately with families of the victims.

French prosecutors are investigating the killings as a potential act of terrorism as it transpired the knifeman likely had links with members of an ultra-conservative Islamic movement. "The whole nation [must] unite, mobilise, act... We will only win if our country gets up to fight against this underground Islamism that corrupts the children of France," he added.

It took 24 hours after the attack for authorities to say it was a potential act of terrorism, and the French government initially maintained there was nothing to suggest the armed attacker had any ties to extremist groups.

Yesterday's ceremony came as justice officials said French investigators found a USB stick belonging to the killer containing information about his colleagues.

Irish Independent

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