Assailant at Paris Notre Dame Cathedral identified as an Algerian

date 2017/06/07 views 381 comments 0

icon-writer Mohamed Lahouazi /*/ English Version: Med.B.

The suspect who allegedly attacked a police officer with a hammer outside Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral Tuesday has been identified. The government spokesman said the attack was an ‘isolated incident’.

The 40-year-old Algerian-born man, who was shot by police and was hospitalized with minor injuries to his chest, told the police he was quote: a “soldier of the caliphate” (meaning of the Daesh terrorist group).

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said on Wednesday that he had shown no signs of radicalization.

The attack took place about 4.20 pm Paris Time on Tuesday afternoon, when the assailant approached three police officers from behind and hit one of them with a hammer while yelling, “This is for Syria!”

He also had two kitchen knives with him, French Interior Minister, Gérard Collomb, told reporters Tuesday.

The 22-year-old police officer who was attacked suffered minor injuries to his neck and was also hospitalized

The Notre Dame cathedral was placed on lockdown and visitors took shelter inside as the police operation was under way in the square.

At least 600 people were blocked inside the world-famous 12th-century church in Paris while police secured the streets around it.

 “He portrayed himself as an Algerian student and was carrying an identity card, the authenticity of which we still need to verify," Mr. Collomb said.

At the time of the attack, he was carrying a student identity card with the name Farid I. and a birth date of January, 1977. 

He had been enrolled in the doctorate program in information science at the University of Lorraine in Metz since 2014, a source close to the investigation told reporters.

Laurent Pierre Motzhar, President of Lorraine University, said the student "has been a doctorate since 2014 and has not shown anything suspicious," adding that the student's university syllabus dealt with media and elections in North Africa.

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