Thursday, October 17, 2019
banner
Home /  World  /  Macron vows ‘unrelenting fight’ against extremists after police killings

Macron vows ‘unrelenting fight’ against extremists after police killings

Macron vows ‘unrelenting fight’ against extremists after police killings

AFP
Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed an “unrelenting fight” against Islamist extremists on Tuesday at a memorial ceremony for four Paris police staff stabbed to death last week by a radicalised colleague.
Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old computer expert in the police intelligence-gathering department, used a kitchen knife and an oyster shucker to kill one female and three male colleagues in a 30-minute rampage that ended when an officer shot him in the head.
“We will wage an unrelenting fight in the face of Islamist terrorism,” Macron said at the ceremony at police headquarters, where the attack took place.
The killings in the police’s inner sanctum have shocked France, where the government is being pressed to answer how Harpon’s radicalisation failed to raise red flags.
Macron said it was “inconceivable and unacceptable” that Harpon, who had worked for the police since 2003, had managed to carry out an attack “in the very place where we pursue terrorists and criminals”.
“Your colleagues fell under the blows of a distorted, deadly Islam which we must eradicate and build in France a society in a state of vigilance”.
He called on all of France to unify and act in order to overcome what he termed the “Islamist hydra”, referring to the multi-headed serpent of Greek mythology. But he also warned against lapsing into a climate of permanent suspicion, emphasising: “This is not a fight against a religion but against the distortion of it which leads to terrorism.”
Thursday’s bloodshed -- the first deadly attack in France in 10 months -- brought to 255 the number of people killed in a string of assaults blamed on, or claimed by Islamist radicals, mainly the Islamic State group, since 2015.
The security forces have regularly been targeted.
In one of the grisliest attacks, a police couple were stabbed to death in front of their three-year-old son at their home near Paris by a man claiming allegiance to IS, who also broadcast the attack live on Facebook.
Harpon, a father of two, had converted to Islam about 10 years ago and adopted increasingly radical beliefs.
He had been in close contact with a hardline Salafist imam in the months before his rampage last week, according to investigators.
His wife was released from custody on Sunday after three days of questioning.

Pages

POST A COMMENT