Notre Dame attacker pledged support to Islamic State

Notre Dame attacker pledged support to Islamic State

Notre Dame attacker pledged support to Islamic State

A man who attacked a policeman with a hammer outside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video, it emerged yesterday, four days after an attack claimed by IS in London.

Witnesses said he shouted "This is for Syria!" as he launched the attack, while police searching his student flat discovered a video claiming responsibility for the attack in the name of Isis.

The country has been in a state of emergency since November 2015 when 130 people were killed in co-ordinated attacks across the capital .

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the assailant had not previously "shown any signs of radicalisation".

In Algeria, the man's nephew Sofiane I. said it was hard to believe his relative had carried out the attack.

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"This has been created to ensure that the intelligence services truly cooperate", said a French presidency official.

Mr Macron yesterday appointed Mr Pierre de Bousquet de Florian to head the new task force, the National Centre for Counter Terrorism, that will be under the president's direct authority.

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The incident follows a London attack in which Islamic extremists used a van and knives to kill seven and wound dozens of people.

French prosecutors have opened a terror investigation into Tuesday's attack, while Ikken remains in custody in hospital, where he is being treated for gunshot wounds.

A 22-year-old officer received injuries to his neck during the attack, which happened while around 1,000 people were inside the cathedral.

Then in July past year, a radicalised Tunisian man drove a lorry at high speed through a Bastille Day fireworks display on the Nice waterfront, massacring 86 people.

"I don't believe at all that he was radicalized", he said in a phone interview.

Heavily armed elite police had searched his apartment on Tuesday night, an AFP journalist said. "There was never any outward sign of excessive adherence to Islam", Arnaud Mercier, Ikken's thesis tutor, told BFM TV.

"So we are trapped in Notre Dame Cathedral".

In this image provided by Nancy Soderberg, people inside Notre Dame cathedral sit with their hands in the air, after an attack on police in Paris, Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

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