Paris Knife Attacker Converted to Islam 18 Months Before Attack: Report

Tobias Hoonhout

The French police employee who killed four of his colleagues at the Paris police headquarters on Thursday was a recent convert to Islam, according to French television BFM TV.

The 45-year-old attacker killed three police officers and an administrative worker, three men and one woman, before being shot and killed by police. Officials so far have not publicly released a motive, and are trying to discover if there was a terrorism link. The man’s wife has been taken in custody.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo took to Twitter to offer her condolences to the victim’s families.

“During the Paris Council, we will pay tribute to the victims and will salute the unfailing commitment of police forces serving the security of Parisians. We know what we owe them,” she wrote.

The attack comes on the heels of a period of unrest within French police, who staged a massive protest on Wednesday as thousands marched and demanded better working conditions. Police have also seen an uptick in suicides this year, coming on the heels of months of unpaid overtime and anti-police press surrounding the “Yellow Vest” protests.

The attack marks the fourth public Islamic stabbing incident in France since October 2017.

In March, an inmate stabbed two prison guards while reportedly shouting “Allahu Akbar.” The attack was labelled a “terrorist incident” by the French Interior Minister.

In September, British church leaders called for the government to “take urgent measures to promote the sale of safe kitchen knife designs and restrict those designs which have been used in so many acts of violence.”

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