According to France’s chief anti-terrorism prosecutor, the Tunisian migrant who murdered a policewoman in France last week was radicalized into Islamic terrorism, on top of facing mental health issues.
The Islamist attacker, who has now been identified as 36-year-old Jamel Gorchene, fatally stabbed a 49-year old, mother of two, female police employee in Rambouillet, a Paris suburb, last Friday. The attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” i.e. God is great in Arabic, during the stabbing. He was later shot and killed by a police officer after refusing to drop his knife.
Jean-Francois Ricard, France’s first prosecutor of the National Terrorism Prosecution Office, told media outlets that the attacker’s “radicalization hardly appears in doubt,” and that he suffered from “certain personality disorders.” Gorchene’s father told the prosecutor that his son had adopted a ‘rigorous practice of Islam’.
“On the other hand, he also said that he (Gorchene’s father) had noticed behavioral troubles since the beginning of this year,” the prosecutor added. Gorchene embraced “an ideology that legitimizes violence against those who offend the prophet,” the prosecutor Ricard said.
According to the investigators, Gorchene watched multiple videos of songs praising jihadist fighters and glorifying Jihad on his phone moments before the attack. A Koran and a prayer rug were found in his scooter afterwards, Ricard said.
Jamel Gorchene was originally an illegal immigrant who arrived in France illegally in 2009. However, just last year, Gorchene had received his French residency permit, and he had visited his family in Tunisia just last month.
Five people, including Gorchene’s cousin, have been detained in relation to the gruesome crime.
France has faced a wave of Islamist terror attacks since at least 2014, which has resulted in more than 250 casualties. Some notable ones include the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the 2016 Islamic State Nice truck attack resulting in 86 deaths, Samuel Paty’s murder last year, etc.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with the victim’s husband and said that France will not give up its fight against Islamic terrorism.