Muslim Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Attempting to Murder French Gendarmes

French gendarmes patrol on the road, on December 8, 2015 in La Mole, near Saint-Tropez, southeastern France, as they search for the man who injured a French police officer and killed another in Cavalaire the day before. The alleged suspect of the shooting is still sought. / AFP / Jean-Christophe …

Brahim Mokkadem, who attempted to run over three French gendarmerie officers in 2015, has been convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In court, Mokkadem claimed that he had wanted to end his own life as he was in debt after losing €15,000 in gambling, and decided on July 1st, 2015, to ram his car into a gendarmerie vehicle that was accompanying firefighters attending a brush fire.

“There were people around. I didn’t want to take people with me,” he told the court when asked why he chose to ram the Ford Focus rather than the heavier fire truck and denied that he aimed for the officers, La Nouvelle Republique reports.

Prosecutor Isabelle Pagenelle, meanwhile, said that Mokkadem’s story was not credible and stated that there were only two motives for the attack: either that Mokkadem hated police officers or he had become a radical Islamic extremist.

Pagenelle stated reports that Mokkadem had been proselytising the Muslim faith while in prison and that his brother had been convicted in a terrorism case after returning from Syria.

Abed Bendjador, Mokkadem’s lawyer, rejected the premise of radicalisation, saying that if terrorism were the motive, the case would be before a special court.

He also commented on the gendarmes who also gave testimony, saying: “I think they’re convinced they almost died, but that doesn’t mean he wanted to kill them.”

While the prosecutor demanded 20 years in prison, the judge found Mokkadem guilty of attempted murder of one officer and guilty of wounding the two others, sentencing him to 15 years in prison.

Since the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in 2015, which also saw a police officer killed, there have been several terrorist attacks on officers including in 2017 when one officer was shot dead on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Police are also often targetted in episodes of violence in some of Paris’s no-go neighbourhoods, in scenes of apparent urban guerilla warfare.

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


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