Rambouillet attack: A radicalized assailant with “personality disorders”
April 25, 2021
[Photo caption: Attack committed at Rambouillet 22 April 2021]
The profile of the killer of the fatal attack committed Friday at Rambouillet is becoming clearer little by little.
The fatal attack Friday against an officer at the Rambouillet police headquarters, near Paris, was committed by a 36-year-old Tunisian, whose radicalization “seems hardly contestable” and who presents “certain personality troubles”, indicated the anti-terrorist prosecutor Sunday.
“Several elements substantiate the tracking of the path of this resident of Rambouillet, radicalized within a few months,” announced National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor Jean-Francois Richard to the press.
A “rapid search” of the telephone of the attacker, Jamel Gorchene, revealed “that he had, immediately prior to proceeding to the act, consulted videos of religious chants glorifying martyrdom and jihad,” he stated.
The prosecutor also referred to his posts on Facebook going back to last fall which revealed “an adherence to an ideology legitimizing violence against those who have offended the Prophet.”
“A Koran” and “a prayer rug” seized
Thus, “On 24 October 2020, a few days after the murder of Samuel Paty (by an Islamist in the department of Yvelines), the perpetrator joined a campaign of support for the Prophet in the face of offenses allegedly committed against him,” stressed Mr. Ricard.
“A Koran” and “a prayer rug” were seized in his scooter and his basket. And, shortly before the incident, a video surveillance camera filmed the assailant heading to a “provisional prayer room”, without the images confirming that he directly entered it. He was seen re-entering the city center a little more than an hour later.
“If the radicalization of the attacker seems hardly contestable, the presence of certain personality disorders can also be observed,” Mr. Ricard revealed. In police custody, the Jamel Gorchene’s father evoked his son’s “rigorous practice of Islam” and “behavioral disorders” observed at home “at the beginning of the year”.
He had undergone two psychiatric consultations at the Rambouillet hospital in February. However, “his condition did not require either hospitalization or treatment,” Mr. Ricard reported.
Tunisia, whose collaboration is being solicited by France in this case, has “energetically” condemned the attack in a statement from its embassy. It denounces a “barbaric act occurring in the middle of the month of Ramadan, the holy month which invokes, rather, the values of tolerance and brotherhood between individuals.”
“We hadn’t detected signs of radicalization”
At 14:25 on Friday, Jamel Gorchene, “wearing headphones”, stabbed Stephanie M., a 49-year-old administrative officer who had no weapon or uniform, in the abdomen and throat, when she was in the security area of the police station. According to witnesses, the assailant cried “Allahu Akhbar”.
In response, a police brigadier fired two shots at the attacker, who refused “to drop the knife”, “a blade of 22 centimeters”. Falling to the floor, he threw the knife in the direction of the police officers, according to the prosecutor.
A fifth person, a cousin of Jamel Gorchene, was placed in custody Sunday. His father who lived with him, a couple who housed him (according to records), and another cousin have already been in custody since Friday and Saturday.