French Police Worker Stabbed in Terrorist Attack Near Paris

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PARIS—An administrative police worker was stabbed to death in an assault on a police station that investigators were treating as a terrorist attack.

An unidentified man Friday surprised a police worker in the entranceway of the police station some 25 miles southwest of Paris as she returned from her car, French officials said. The attacker stabbed the worker in the throat and yelled “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before police stationed inside shot and killed him, police union officials said on French television.

The police worker died of her wounds soon after. She was a mother of two who worked at the reception of the police station, and didn’t carry a gun, one of the union officials said.

The attack jolted a nation already reeling from a string of terrorist attacks late last year, including the beheading of middle-school teacher Samuel Paty after he showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his class.

Jean-François Ricard, France’s antiterrorism prosecutor, said Friday he had opened an investigation into the police station attack as a terrorist act in part because the attacker had scoped out the station ahead of the attack, and because of statements he made during the assault.

Prime Minister

Jean Castex

and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin visited the police station following the attack, which occurred in the quiet town of Rambouillet, known for its eponymous château and forest.

“We won’t back down in the fight against Islamist terrorism,” French President

Emmanuel Macron

said on Twitter.

French authorities responded to last year’s terrorist attacks with a crackdown on Islamic associations, schools and mosques that they say are promoting Islamist separatism, which Mr. Macron describes as an ideology that aims to build a parallel society in France where religious rules override civil laws. Mr. Macron is seeking to pass a bill that criminalizes a range of activity the government deems separatist.

Knife attacks against police have occurred with some regularity in France since a wave of terrorist attacks seized the country more six years ago. In 2019, an administrative worker with the French police stabbed and killed four officers at the police headquarters in Paris before he was gunned down.

In 2016, a man who pledged allegiance to Islamic State killed a police captain and his companion, a police worker, in their home in a town west of Paris.

Write to Sam Schechner at

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