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French security chief talks of ‘malfunctions’ before police attack

French security chief talks of ‘malfunctions’ before police attack”

Pressure is growing on France's government to explain how the radicalisation of a man who killed four colleagues at the Paris police headquarters failed to raise red flags inside the intelligence unit where he worked.

Salafism is a fundamentalist branch of Islam that historically has been apolitical but has become tied to violent extremism through jihadist attacks and groups like al Qaeda and ISIS which adhere to its belief that Islam has strayed from its roots and must return to traditionalist teachings and practices.

Police prefect Didier Lallement said there was no reason to question security arrangements in police headquarters. One other person was seriously wounded in the attack but survived. There, according to the Parisien account, a police officer responsible for security at the building, after issuing warnings, fired several shots at the attacker, including to his head, and killed him.

The suspect, who was shot dead during the attack, exchanged 33 text messages with his wife ahead of the attacks, all of which were of a religious character, Ricard said, adding that the suspect's wife is in police custody until Monday.

The messages completely eager religion, and the attacker ended the dialog with "Allahu Akbar" ("God is most appealing") and told her to "be conscious our loved prophet Mohammed and meditate on the Koran", in step with the prosecutor.

She was being held by police yesterday.

An investigation showed that Harpon began wearing traditional Islamic garments for mosque visits, and had started refusing "certain kinds of contact with women".

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Paris prosecutor Jean-François Ricard gives a press conference at the Paris courthouse, France, Saturday Oct. 5, 2019.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said police should have investigated Harpon's suspicious behaviour in 2015.

A second source informed about the investigation said the attacker was believed to have had an "attack of insanity" that led him to carry out the attack. "There's a storm coming", the source said.

The attack follows a rare nationwide police strike on Wednesday, which saw thousands of officers demonstrating in Paris over working hours, shortages in resources and controversial pension reforms.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe meanwhile expressed his "full confidence" in Castaner.

But in an interview with weekly JDD to be published today, he also said that procedures for the detection of signs that anti-terror agents may themselves have been radicalised would be probed. Mickaël H., who was reportedly deaf, was gunned down by police.



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