From the New Arab and RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann)
French investigators were on Saturday questioning three people linked to a Tunisian man who stabbed a police employee to death near Paris in a suspected Islamist attack. The murder at a police station in Rambouillet, a commuter town about 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Paris, revived the trauma of a spate of deadly attacks last year.
The victim was a 49-year-old woman named as Stephanie M., a police administrative assistant and mother-of-two, who was stabbed twice in the throat at the entrance of the station.
Her 36-year-old attacker named as Jamel G., who had not been known to police or intelligence services, was shot and fatally wounded by an officer at the scene.
National anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened a terror investigation. A source close to the inquiry told AFP the knifeman shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) during the attack.
Jamel G’s father and two other people were taken into custody on Friday, and questioning was continuing on Saturday as police delve into his background, contacts and possible motives.
The assailant had arrived in France illegally in 2009 but had since obtained residency papers, a police source said. He had just moved to Rambouillet. About 30 police officers wearing balaclavas raided the suspect’s home in the town on Friday, AFP reporters said.
At the same time police in the Paris region searched the home of the person who had sheltered Jamel G. when he first arrived in France, sources close to the inquiry said.
Mr Macron vowed on Twitter that “in our fight against Islamist terrorism, we will never give in”, identifying the murdered woman as Stephanie. Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right and the strongest challenger to Mr Macron’s re-election bid, said the police needed more protection.