PARIS (Reuters) -The Tunisian national who killed a police administrative worker last Friday near Paris had watched religious videos glorifying acts of jihad just before carrying out his attack, said France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard.
The murder has shocked France, which faces a presidential election next year at which issues such as fears over terrorist attacks, immigration and violent crime will dominate the agenda.
Ricard told a news conference on Sunday that the official investigation had shown that the assailant, identified as “Jamel G”, looked at the videos on his phone just before his knife attack on the police worker, a mother-of-two called Stephanie.
“The attacker, just before carrying out his act, had looked at religious chants and videos glorifying jihad and martyrdom,” said Ricard, who added that the assailant had also shouted out “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is Greatest”, during the attack.
Stephanie died from stab wounds, while Jamel G was subsequently shot dead by police after the attack at a police station in Rambouillet, a commuter suburb south of Paris.
French President Emmanuel Macron said last Friday, in reaction to the killing in Rambouillet, that France had again been the victim of a terrorist attack.
Ricard said France was working with Tunisian authorities in its probe into the Rambouillet attack. The Tunisian Embassy in Paris condemned the attack, in a statement issued this weekend.
France has experienced several attacks by Islamist militants in recent years.
Bombings and shootings in November 2015 at the Bataclan theatre and other sites around Paris killed 130 people, and in July 2016 an Islamist militant drove a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 86.
Last October, a French schoolteacher was beheaded in Conflans, another commuter suburb near Paris, by a Chechen teenager who was then shot dead by police.
(Reporting by Antony Paone, Sudip Kar-Gupta and Jean-Michel Belot; Editing by Hugh Lawson)