French authorities review the terror threat after policewoman fatally stabbed near Paris
The French government held an emergency meeting Saturday after a Tunisian man stabbed a police employee to death near Paris in a knife attack, as investigators opened a terror probe. Authorities questioned four people linked to the assailant.
Friday’s murder at a police station in Rambouillet, a commuter town about 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Paris, revived the trauma of a spate of deadly Islamist attacks in recent years.
The victim was a 49-year-old woman named as Stephanie, a police administrative assistant and mother of two teenage girls, who was stabbed twice in the throat at the entrance of the station.
Her alleged 36-year-old attacker, who had not been known to police or intelligence services, was shot and killed by an officer at the scene.
President Emmanuel Macron, who was out of the country on a visit to Chad at the time, tweeted that France would never give in to “Islamist terrorism”.
On Saturday, he visited the victim’s husband at his bakery after meeting with the police divisional commander in Rambouillet, the presidency said. The family was “very upset and very dignified”, it said.
Prime Minister Jean Castex cut short a visit to France’s Occitanie region to hold an emergency meeting with the interior, justice and armed forces ministers which lasted for two hours.
The latest violence targeting police is likely to focus attention further on the danger of Islamic extremism in France and wider concerns about security a year ahead of a presidential election.
National anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened a terror investigation.
A source close to the inquiry told AFP the knifeman shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) during the attack.
Chief anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard confirmed “comments made by the assailant” indicated a terror motive and said the attack may have been premeditated.
Source: France 24