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France Rocked by Extremist’s Counterterror Role


The Wall Street Journal

France Rocked by Extremist’s Counterterror Role

Mickaël Harpon was allowed to continue working in police intelligence despite arguing that the Charlie Hebdo terror attack was justified

By Matthew Dalton

PARIS—France has been rocked by a security breach that allowed an Islamist extremist to work in the heart of its counterterrorism apparatus for years, before he killed four of his colleagues last week and was then shot dead.

Opposition lawmakers on Monday called for Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to resign over the assault, which snapped the relative lull in terrorist attacks in France in recent months. Mr. Castaner brushed aside the calls, Mickaël Harpon, a 45-year-old convert to Islam, was allowed to continue working in the intelligence division of the Paris police, despite arguing with colleagues in 2015 that the terror attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was justified, Mr. Castaner said.

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/france-rocked-by-security-breach-that-saw-extremist-work-in-counterterrorism-11570446866