French police authorities said a total of 17 police officers were radicalized between 2012 and 2015 in the Paris region, noting that the phenomenon had sped up from 2014.
French media outlets reported on Wednesday that the officers in question are mostly young people, who joined the police in the mid 2000's.
Où Sont Passés Nos Espions? (Where Have Our Spies Gone?), by Eric Pelletier and Christophe Dubois, also claimed that about a dozen former French soldiers had joined jihadist movements in Iraq and Syria. French journalists Eric Pelletier and Christophe Dubois cite the example of a young officer who, allegedly, changed after a trip to the French island of Réunion. His colleagues reportedly heard him listening to religious songs and buying a burqa for his wife during a break.
Female officers are reportedly involved in one third of total cases. One female officer, for instance, refused to respect a minute’s silence for the 17 victims of the terrorist attacks on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January 2015. Asked to explain herself, she said in an email: “It’s Islam which is going to dominate the world.” The officer was dismissed in June that year.
Another female officer was given a ten-month suspended prison sentence last year for posting on her Facebook page: “I am ashamed to wear the blue (uniform). If I were the terrorists, I would have blown up the Élysée and all the bastards who work there a long time ago.”
One women officer, for instance, arrived for a health check-up with a police doctor in a hijab and was told to remove it. She responded by posting on Facebook the antisemitic message: “It’s time for Muslims to fight. We have had enough of these Zionists who trouble our lives. They are rats.”
A disciplinary procedure was started but the officer went on sick leave in February 2015 and is still absent. Pelletier said that officers suspected of radical Islamism often took sick leave in the knowledge that French labour laws provide extensive protection from dismissal.
Journalists Dubois and Pelletier argue that there are over 100 cases of radicalized state officials in total across the ministries of defense, interior affairs, and justice.
General Jean-François Hogard sought to downplay concerns over evidence that about a dozen former soldiers had joined Isis when questioned by MPs. “The few former soldiers who have left for the jihadist networks have often spent only a few weeks in the institution and been dismissed for instability or a failure to adapt to a military life,” he said.