BEVERLY HILLS, October 09, (THEWILL) – French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed an “unrelenting fight” against Islamist extremists at a memorial ceremony for four Paris police staff stabbed to death last week by a colleague who had converted to a radical version of Islam.
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 dead.
“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 explain how Harpon’s radicalisation had 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”.
He blamed the attack on “a distorted, deadly Islam” which he vowed to “eradicate” and to 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 a 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.”
AFP reports that Harpon, a father of two, had converted to Islam about 10 years ago and adopted increasingly radical beliefs.