An IT worker who stabbed four people to death at Paris police headquarters with a knife had a USB drive with personal details about his colleagues, according to a local newspaper reported on Monday. The assailant on Thursday killed three police officers and an administrative officer before being shot dead by police. The initial investigations have disclosed that the Martinique-born man has converted his religion to Islam and had contacts with persons who are believed to belong to an Islamist Salafist movement. The local newspaper reported on its website that a USB memory device found in the perpetrator's house had personal details about several dozen of his colleagues at police headquarters as well as several Islamic State propaganda videos.
The newspaper added that it was unclear whether the attacker had shared this information with others. Authorities fear that cops' lives could be in danger if insights regarding their personalities or addresses fall in the inappropriate hands. The police sources could not immediately comment on the newspaper's reports. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told a newspaper on Sunday that he had requested inspectors to review the procedures in the intelligence department of the police headquarters and anti-terror intelligence unit to distinguish indications of radicalization among government employees.
In a similar incident, on May 21, 2018, a 21-year-old Chechnya-born French citizen, armed with a knife, killed one pedestrian and injured several more near the Palais Garnier, the opera house in Paris, France, before being fatally shot by police. The attack occurred in the area of Rue Saint-Augustin and Passage Choiseu. French President Emmanuel Macron said France had "paid once again the price of blood but will not cede an inch to the enemies of freedom." The suspect was identified as Khamzat Azimov, had been on a counter-terrorism watchlist since 2016. A news agency released a video of a hooded person pledging allegiance to ISIS and ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who claimed to be the attacker. Europol has classified the attack as jihadist terrorism.
(with inputs from agencies)