PARIS – The Latest on the attack at Paris' Notre Dame cathedral (all times local):
A nephew and a longtime colleague of the Algerian doctoral student accused of attacking a police patrol outside Notre Dame Cathedral both say the man is far from being an extremist.
In interviews with The Associated Press, they identified the man as Farid Ikken. Journalist and former colleague Kamal Ouhnia said Ikken loves good wine and is completely secular. He said Ikken recently broke with his wife and had professional setbacks, and was unhappy that he could not return to Algeria as he had hoped.
Nephew Sofiane Ikken, a lawyer, said his uncle expressed complete disdain for the Islamic State group as recently as last summer. The nephew said the uncle seemed "a little bit alone" when he last phoned three weeks ago to get family news. He said Ikken's friends and family cannot believe that he is suspected in the attack, saying: "it's not the person we knew."
New video has emerged showing the moment a man wielding a hammer attacked a police patrol in front of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.
In the surveillance video provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday, the man can be seen lunging at the officers before he is shot and falls to the ground. He is hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
One officer suffered minor injuries.
The attacker was working on a doctoral thesis in France. His thesis adviser, Arnaud Mercier, told broadcaster BFM that the suspect spoke Swedish, Arabic and French and that his resume mentioned that he had worked as a journalist in Sweden and Algeria.
The man who attacked police officers patrolling in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, crying out "This is for Syria!," was a former journalist who was working on a doctoral thesis and had not been suspected of radicalization, according to university officials and the French government's spokesman.
Christopher Castaner told RTL radio on Wednesday that police were quickly able to classify the hammer attack as a "terrorist act" because of "the words he said."
An officer was slightly injured in the Tuesday attack and the attacker remained hospitalized after being shot by police. Police have not released his name.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, but police searching the man's residence outside Paris found a declaration of allegiance to the Islamic State group, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.
A student identity card showed he was from Algeria and 40 years old.
The university of Lorraine's president, Pierre Mutzenhardt, told France Bleu radio that the man was enrolled as one of its students and had been working since 2014 on a thesis about North African media. He said the man previously worked as a journalist for North African media.
"There'd been no difficulties with him. Nothing strange had been detected," he said.
His thesis director, Arnaud Mercier, told broadcaster BFM that the suspect spoke Swedish, Arabic and French and that his resume mentioned that he had worked as a journalist in Sweden and Algeria.
"He was someone who believed a lot in democratic ideals, the expression of free thinking, in journalism," Mercier said on BFM. "Nothing, absolutely nothing, foretold that one day he'd be a jihadi who'd want to kill a policeman in the name of I don't know what cause."