A MAN who stabbed dozens of Police officers at a Police HQ in Central Paris yesterday converted to Islam just months ago, it has been claimed.
Four people were stabbed to death as an officer stopped the attack when he shot the terrorist in the Police HQ’s courtyard.
The deranged employee had converted to Islam 18 months ago, according to a report in the New York Post.
The man ran through the Paris police headquarters with a knife, stabbing four before he was shot and killed.
The man, a technology administrator in the police intelligence unit, launched the attack in his office then moved to other parts of the large 19th-century building across the street from Notre Dame Cathedral.
The alleged terrorist who carried out the attack had worked for the force since 2003, and did not cause any concerns, the French interior minister Christophe Castaner said.
“There were no warning signs,” Mr Castaner said. “This man was known inside the computer department, he worked alongside his colleagues and never presented any behavioural difficulties.”
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said authorities opened a murder investigation, for the moment ruling out a terrorism inquiry. He said the 45-year-old assailant’s home was being searched.
Three of the victims were men and one was a woman, Mr Heitz said. A department employee wounded in the rampage underwent emergency surgery, Mr Castaner said.
“It’s the worst scenario possible, an internal attack with colleagues working together,” said Philippe Capon of the UNSA police union.
Mr Capon cautioned against jumping to conclusions on the motive and said: “Nothing can be ruled out, including a personal issue.”
French media reported the employee carried out the attack with a ceramic knife.
The attack came a day after thousands of officers marched in Paris to protest low wages, long hours and increasing suicides in their ranks.
President Emmanuel Macron stopped by police headquarters to show solidarity with officers and department employees, his office said.
The neighbourhood where the police compound is located, a busy tourist destination, was locked down, the Cite metro stop was closed and the bridge between Notre Dame and the headquarters building was blocked off.
“Paris weeps for its own this afternoon after this terrifying attack in the police headquarters. The toll is heavy, several officers lost their lives,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted.
Extremists have repeatedly targeted French police in France in recent years. In 2017, a gunman opened fire on the Champs-Elysees boulevard, killing one officer before he was shot to death.
In 2016, an attack inspired by the Islamic State group killed a police officer and his companion, an administrator, at their home in front of their child.
Additional reporting by PA