Anti-terrorism probe launched after French police officer killed in knife attack

Anti-terrorism probe launched after French police officer killed in knife attack [ad_1]

Police on the scene shortly intervened and killed the attacker, Prime Minister Jean Castex informed journalists on Friday, referring to the incident in Rambouillet as a “terrorist attack.”

Castex stated that “our determination to fight terrorism in all its shape is unbroken, more than ever.”

French anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard stated, “The way this crime was committed” and “the words said by the attacker during the event” led the anti-terror workplace to tackle the investigation.

The attacker had scouted the placement earlier than launching the stabbing, Castex stated. And witnesses heard the attacker shout “Allahu Akhbar,” based on a supply near the investigation.

Three folks, believed to be members of the attacker’s shut circle, have been taken into custody, a French judicial supply informed CNN.

French police officials and firefighters at the station in Rambouillet.French police officials and firefighters at the station in Rambouillet.

Castex and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin stated they have been on their approach to Rambouillet, a city of 25,000 folks 35 miles southwest of the capital.

Earlier, Castex shared his condolences with the sufferer’s family members, saying they “have the support of the whole nation” in a tweet.
Terror in France reignites a national debate on the right to offendTerror in France reignites a national debate on the right to offend

“The Republic has just lost one of its heroines, in an infinitely coward barbaric gesture,” he added.

Local consultant Aurore Bergé tweeted her condolences, saying that “this is a terrible shock. For Rambouillet. For the Yvelines, grieving again,” referring to a deadly stabbing of a police commander and his associate, a police administrator, in 2016.

Reacting to the attack, French President Emmanuel Macron stated France wouldn’t surrender the combat towards terrorism.

“She was a police officer. Stephanie has been killed in her police station in Rambouillet, on the already wounded land of the Yvelines. The Nation stands by the side of her family, her colleagues, and law enforcement officers. We will not give up the fight against Islamist terrorism,” Macron stated on Twitter.

Attacks intensify debate over French secularism

The attack comes amid an intensive public debate over France’s mannequin of secularism, which has wracked the nation in current months and is prone to be a key subject in the presidential election subsequent yr.

Known as “laïcité” in French, the separation of church and state is the framework of the nation’s political system and is deeply ingrained in French tradition.

French lawmakers have been engaged on contentious laws geared toward combating Islamist radicalism and reinforcing the nation’s precept of laïcité, as President Macron makes an attempt to attraction to right-wing voters.

But secularism is divisive in a rustic as numerous as France, which is house to five million Muslims — a lot of whom reside in poorer areas and are sometimes marginalized in politics and media. The overwhelming majority of France’s Muslims don’t assist Islamic extremism, but nonetheless face unfair stereotypes, consultants say.

A teacher is beheaded, and France's war over secularism, freedom of speech and religious equality reignitesA teacher is beheaded, and France's war over secularism, freedom of speech and religious equality reignites

Critics say the invoice, which incorporates measures that will ban head scarves and different overt spiritual clothes or symbols, dangers discriminating towards Muslims.

The invoice is at the moment being scrutinized by a cross-party parliamentary fee.

The wider debate over laïcité and whether or not it really works in trendy, multicultural France has been intensified by current terror assaults.

On October 29, three people were stabbed to death at a church in the French metropolis of Nice. A 21-year-old Tunisian nationwide was charged in their homicide, and President Macron stated the nation was below attack by “Islamist and terrorist madness.”
Prosecutors stated the suspect had pictures on his telephone of the person who beheaded a instructor close to Paris 13 days earlier, doubtlessly indicating a common motive.
The center faculty instructor, Samuel Paty, was killed by an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin who, earlier than the attack, stated in a put up on social media that he wished to punish Paty for exhibiting caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in his class.

Macron subsequently issued a powerful protection of the precept of freedom of speech and stated France wouldn’t “give up” the caricatures, which have been revealed in satirical journal Charlie Hebdo in 2012.

The assaults are the newest in a string of violence linked to the cartoon in France over a number of years. In 2015, 17 folks have been killed in a terror attack that started in Charlie Hebdo’s workplaces in Paris and carried on for 3 days.

The caricatures are thought-about blasphemous in Islam, and Macron’s feedback triggered widespread anger in many Muslim-majority nations final yr.

Antonella Francini contributed to this report from Paris.

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