Oct. 5 (UPI) — A prosecutor said Saturday the police employee suspect in the stabbing death of four colleagues two days ago had a ‘radical’ belief in Islam recently, according to witnesses.
Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said the suspect who allegedly killed four colleagues during the suspected terrorist attack Thursday at Paris police headquarters had recently believed in a “radical vision of Islam,” witnesses say.
The suspect has been identified by police as Mickael Harpon, who was a 45-year-old employee of the police department’s technology department. He had worked at the headquarters for more than 15 years, officials said. A 24-year-old police intern shot Harpon to death at the scene, the prosecutor said.
Harpon had converted to Islam “about 10 years ago” and recently adhered to a more “radical vision,” of it, Ricard said in a news conference.
The suspect was also tied to Salafist fundamentalist movement of Islam and exchanged 33 religious text messages with his wife Thursday morning.
The prosecutor said Harpon had expressed support for the 2015 attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Two Islamist terrorists killed 12 members of the publication’s staff on January 7, 2015.
Ricard added that Harpon had no criminal record.
His wife, who has not been identified by name, remains in custody, according to CNN.