Notre Dame attacker claimed allegiance to Islamic State

Paris: A man who attacked a cop with a hammer outside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a video, it emerged on Wednesday, as his family said they were shocked by his involvement.

Kellyn Pot'Vin-Gorman, a tech executive from Westminster, told The Associated Press she was at the front of the line to enter the cathedral when she saw panicked people running in every direction Tuesday.

Forensic experts and police officers investigate the crime scene after a man attacked officers with a hammer on the esplanade of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France, Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

Soldiers patrolling its streets alongside police to protect tourist sites, government buildings and events have been the target of attempted attacks, including at Paris-Orly airport and outside Le Louvre. The BBC reported the man shouted "this is for Syria" during the attack and French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation.

While a police officer was injured in the attack, the man sustained wounds to the chest from the gunshots and was taken to hospital to receive treatment.

"I really can't understand it or believe it", the nephew said in a telephone interview. A source named the suspect as Farid Ikken, a PhD student of communications registered since 2014 at a university in the French eastern city of Metz.

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"What we know at this stage that he is an Algerian student", Collomb told reporters, adding that authentication of an identity card found with the suspect was underway.

The last fatal attack in France dates from April 20, when a policeman was shot dead on Paris's prestigious Champs-Elysees avenue, three days before the first round of the presidential election.

More than 230 people have been killed in a wave of attacks in France either claimed by or inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) over the past 21/2 years.

"There'd been no difficulties with him".

France has experienced several terrorist attacks in recent years, including a July 2016 attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in which a priest was murdered while saying Mass. "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".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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