French Interior Minister confirms police killing as “terrorist act”

PARIS, June 14 (KUNA) — French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Tuesday confirmed the murder late Monday of two police officers by a lone killer as a “terrorist act” and vowed to maintain high vigilance against the terrorist threat in this country.
“An abject terrorist act has been committed,” Cazeneuve said in a statement after a high-level security meeting chaired by President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace.
Cazeneuve declined to give any details of the investigation into the murders as he said he didn’t want to interfere in the case that is being overseen by the Paris Prosecutor’s office.
The double-murder, in which both police officers were stabbed to death, is the first major terror incident in France since November 2015, when commandos claiming allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (IS) killed 130 people in Paris in a spate of shootings and suicide bombings.
“The total mobilisation of the government has been in place for months to face a threat that we have not stopped saying is high… In France, in Europe, in the West as attested by the events that took place 48 hours in the United States, where 49 people were shot dead in a suspected terror attack in Orlando, Florida,” he noted.
As part of precautionary security measures, French police have detained more than 100 people since the beginning of the year on suspicion of terrorist intentions or links with terrorist activities, Cazeneuve revealed.
France is currently under a State of Emergency, which allows for searches without warrants and arrests and detention of individuals and their holding under house arrest. The broad array of police and judicial powers, voted after the November terror attacks, have been renewed by Parliament until July and also aims to cover the heightened security needs during the Euro ’16 soccer tournament, which is underway here.
The man who attacked and killed the two police officers is now known to have had a criminal record but also to have been condemned to three years in jail for terrorism links, according to media reports.
The unnamed individual struck first a 42-year-old police captain outside his home in Magnanville, northwest of the city and stabbed him to death before entering his home and taking the officer’s wife, also a policewoman, and three-year-old son hostage.
The woman was also murdered by the terrorist but the child survived, according to Interior Ministry reports. The hostage-taker was shot dead after elite police units raided the house in the early hours of Tuesday.
French President Francois Hollande strongly condemned the murders and said “all light must be shed” on the incident. (end) jk.hb