How did the author of the attack on the Paris police headquarters who had four deaths become radicalized? In recent days, investigators are interested in a Salafist imam who has been in contact with Mickaël Harpon. Converted to Islam about ten years ago, the official of the intelligence department of the police headquarters attended the mosque of La Fauconnière de Gonesse, in Val-d'Oise, where he lived. An imam has passed "briefly" in this community "before being rejected", according to a source close to the file cited by AFP.
Obliged to leave the territory in 2015
The 35-year-old Moroccan man, who ran the mosque from February to December 2017, had been on the map since 2015 for his "religious fundamentalism," according to the weekly Le Point. He was described locally as "enlightened" and "theologian" more or less self-proclaimed by an anti-terrorism specialist. He had previously worked in three other mosques in Val-d'Oise, one in Sarcelles and the other two identified as mosques under Salafist influence.
In 2015, while working in Sarcelles, the imam was subjected to a measure of obligation to leave French territory (OQTF) requested by the intelligence services. During his hearing before the Commission of the laws of the National Assembly, the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner recognized Tuesday, October 8th that this measure "was not executed". "I do not know why," he said. "What I know is that since then, in the framework of the departmental commission [...], it has been decided to grant him a valid title because he has a child and has married." A title valid until April 2020.
"I never spoke with him"
Questioned by Franceinfo, the imam, identified as Ahmed Hilali by the radio, denies any religious radicalism. "I have never been summoned by the police or general intelligence," he says. The imam also ensures that he does not know Michaël Harpon. "He was very discreet, I do not know his name, where he works, where he lives, I never spoke to him, but sometimes he shook my hand," he says. .
"How is it possible that a radicalized imam, and it is the intelligence services that say it, to whom is notified an obligation to leave the French territory in 2015, is still there in 2019? This is called a major dysfunction it is called a fault, "said Franceinfo member for Val-d'Oise François Pupponi.
For Christophe Castaner, no element allows to establish, for the time being, the link between this imam and the killer of the police prefecture of Paris.