Paris hammer attacker 'showed no sign of radicalisation'

Paris attacker had pledged allegiance to ISIS in video

A hammer-wielding man who attacked a police officer at the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, Paris investigators said Wednesday.

The 40-year-old man, who was shot and wounded by police after lunging at the officer, had shouted that he was "a soldier of the caliphate" during the attack on Tuesday and that he was acting in revenge "for Syria".

Le Figaro claims the investigation into the man's home uncovered a video where the attacker pledged his loyalty and allegiance to Islamic State.

Tuesday's attacker had "never showed any sign of radicalisation", he told RTL radio, but stressed that the investigation was at an early stage.

The attack was an "isolated act", he said.

Macron also picked Bernard Emie as the new chief of the General Directorate for external services (DGSE, external intelligence service) and Laurent Nunez at the The General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI).

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.

Paris attacker had pledged allegiance to ISIS in video

The attack, which came with France on high alert after jihadists killed seven people in London on Saturday, caused panic at one of the country's top visitor attractions.

The French government announced today the creation of a special force to coordinate intelligence services with a view to strengthening the fight against terrorism. It will include some 20 people representing the various security services and operate 24/7.

Government spokesman Castaner said that Iken was being held in custody in hospital and that his words "this is for Syria" meant his attack was being treated as a terrorist incident. He, along with two other jihadis, drove a van through a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge and then jumped out to attack civilians with knives, killing eight and wounding dozens more.

But he said the police response was "immediate and effective".

The suspect's thesis director said that he had not seen the man since November but that he had showed "no outward sign of an excessive adherence to Islam".

Notre Dame, which is situated on the banks of the Seine river in the heart of Paris, draws 13 million visitors a year.

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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