French officials: Notre Dame police attacker was doctoral student

Faith Castro
June 12, 2017

The media reported that a man attacked a cop with hammer in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday which had many tourists visiting the landmark in the capital city of France.

In interviews with The Associated Press, they identified the man as Farid Ikken. The nephew said the uncle seemed "a little bit alone" when he last phoned three weeks ago to get family news. A 22-year-old officer sustained minor neck injuries in the assault.

One academic who taught Ikken, a strong linguist who spoke French, English, Arabic and Swedish, described his student as an individual who at times felt lonely.

An attacker opened fire on a police vehicle on the Champs Eysees in Paris in April killing one officer and seriously wounding two others.

Collomb said the attacker acted on his own.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the attacker was carrying the identification card of an Algerian student. "Paris police say the situation is under control".

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"We've gone from sophisticated terrorism to terrorism where any tool will do", Collomb said.

"There'd been no difficulties with him".

"He was someone who believed a lot in democratic ideals, the expression of free thinking, in journalism", Mr Mercier said. "Nothing, absolutely nothing, foretold that one day he'd be a jihadi who'd want to kill a policeman in the name of I don't know what cause". Attacker with hammer shot near Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris police sayThe video shows an officer continuing to point his gun at the suspect after he was down.

"These are the kind of attacks that are, that give everybody nightmares, because there's no plot", he said. Among the several hundred people ordered to remain inside the cathedral was a former USA ambassador to the United Nations, Nancy Soderberg. He was armed with kitchen knives as well as the hammer and yelled "This is for Syria!" when he struck.

French policemen point their weapons near the site of an attack at the entrance of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on June 6, 2017.

Notre Dame, famous for its picturesque gargoyles, is located on an island in the Seine and attracts an estimated 14 million visitors very year, making it Europe's most visited attraction.

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