So far little was known about the computer scientist who worked in the administration of the Paris police and stabbed four colleagues on Thursday. The most probable motive was a mental illness. Now the turnaround: The anti-terrorism prosecutor's office took over the investigation on Friday in the case.
According to judicial sources, it is now being investigated for the murder and attempted murder of officials in connection with a criminal terrorist organization. The attacker was shot.
According to the French news broadcaster BFMTV, among other things, the evaluation of the mobile phone of the 45-year-old offender and initial interrogations have led to this development. The daily Le Monde reports that the perpetrator was acquainted with Islam 18 months ago. Neighbors said he regularly went to prayers in the mosque in his neighborhood.
His colleagues, according to police sources, have noticed no signs of radicalization. In the hours after the crime, investigators as well as Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had excluded a terrorist background to the crime.
Mickael H., who was hard of hearing, had been working in the prefecture since 2003; he was considered a quiet but unobtrusive colleague. The internal standard safety tests did not reveal any other results. The perpetrator's wife told investigators yesterday that her husband had spent a very restless night before the fact and told her he had "heard voices." The police custody of the wife was extended today.
The unparalleled knife attack unleashed horror and grief in France. Head of state Emmanuel Macron and government officials went to the crime scene to talk to staff. According to French media reports, the attacker was deployed in the department of "Direction de renseignement" of the police department - this department deals, among other things, with the fight against terrorist threats.