Former Journalist on Trial for 2017 Notre Dame Attack

French soldiers stands guard in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 14, 2017, as worshippers and tourist arrive at the cathedral on Good Friday, the start of the Christian Easter celebrations.

Former journalist Farid Ikken is on trial for attacking a police officer with a hammer in front of Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral in 2017.

The 43-year-old Algerian faces up to 30 years in prison for the attack which he claimed was not attempted murder but was meant to draw attention to the issue of the French army being deployed in Syria and Iraq.

The attack took place on June 6th, 2017, at around 4:20 pm and saw Ikken rush with a hammer towards three police shouting “this is for Syria” and hitting one of the officers in the back of the head, 20 Minutes reports.

Before he could attack again, one of the other police officers subdued the Algerian national by shooting him.

Ikken, who claims to be a “mujahideen”, stated that he hit the policeman “softly” and stated he had no intention of killing the officer.

Investigators did, however, find a video recording, likely made earlier that day, in which Ikken spoke in Arabic and pledged allegiance to Islamic State, saying repeatedly: “It’s time for revenge, it’s time for jihad.”

More evidence was found on the messaging app Telegram that showed Ikken wanted to “carry out an operation” to aid his “brothers” in the Islamic State “caliphate”.

Following his arrest in 2017, it was revealed that Ikken had previously lived in Sweden where the EU had awarded him the “Journalist Prize Against Discrimination” for his pro-migrant writing.

Sofiane Ikken, the nephew of the attacker, claimed that his uncle had been radicalised while in Sweden and that he had gone to the country to study for a master’s degree. He later moved to France in 2014 to pursue a doctorate in political science.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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