Farid Ikken is on trial until Wednesday for attacking three police officers in Notre-Dame with a hammer.



  • On June 6, 2017, Farid Ikken, a former journalist and translator, wounded a police officer who was patrolling in front of Notre-Dame with a hammer.

  • He says he did not seek to kill but wanted to draw attention to the situation in Syria and Iraq.

    However, on him, the police found, in addition to a hammer, two knives of 18 and 26 centimeters.

  • He faces life imprisonment.

At the special assize court in Paris,

Physically, Mehdi does not keep any after-effects from this hammer blow to the back of the head on June 6, 2017. The cranial edema diagnosed on his arrival in the emergency room resolved without complications, the wound quickly healed.

But before the special assize court, this young policeman, blond hair cut in a brush and black jacket, confides that it was not the same for his psychological reconstruction.

“There's always, in the back of my mind, this idea that a coward can hit me with a hammer in the back.

"In the box of the accused, Farid Ikken, who appears for attempted assassination on a person holding public authority in connection with a terrorist enterprise, listens, impassive, expressionless even, tell this afternoon when he believed his last moments come.

"It all happened in a fraction of a second," recalls the victim at the helm, nervously grinding his hands.

The three police officers had been patrolling for nearly two hours on the forecourt of Notre-Dame, black with people, when the assailant threw himself on them.

From behind, Mehdi - tenured four months earlier - has just enough time to curl up, alerted by his colleague's scream, before feeling something "heavy and cold" reach behind his ear.

It was not until he was on the ground, hearing his attacker shout "this is for Syria" that he understood the nature of the attack.

As Farid Ikken threatens to hit him again, another colleague retaliates, hitting the terrorist in the chest.

"If he did not shoot, I took the second shot in the head," he says today.

Even injured, the assailant does not seem ready to surrender and continues to advance, shouting in Arabic.

"He returns to the charge to try to kill him, there is no other word", insists his colleague, heard by videoconference.

Mehdi manages to get up and shoots in turn, this time destabilizing his attacker for good.

"I have the feeling of a duty accomplished"

In the box, Farid Ikken, frail figure, short beard and disheveled hair, expresses no remorse.

Quite the contrary.

"I have the feeling of a duty accomplished", explains without blinking this 43-year-old Algerian, former journalist, translator in Arabic and Swedish, doctoral student in information sciences whose radicalization surprised everyone around him.

If he recognizes the “extreme gravity of his gesture” and admits that it can “be interpreted as an act of war”, he prefers to speak of “symbolic” violence and denies any homicidal intention.

“I am not a terrorist, what I do is not motivated by the will to kill.

I did not choose weapons to kill people, but to inform, ”he says in a stony voice.

CCTV images, broadcast at the end of the morning, however show an extremely violent attack in which the assailant “leaps” at his victim, hitting him with all his might, rearming his arm almost immediately.

During his arrest, investigators also discovered on him two knives, one of 26 and the other of 18 centimeters.

Using his trial as a political platform, the accused becomes animated by explaining that he acted in reaction to the intervention of the French army in Syria and Iraq and sees in this attack, a gesture of support for the Islamic State, of which he does not hide his admiration.

Nightmares and flashbacks

If the outcome of the attack could have been much more dramatic, the three police officers confide that they are still very marked and live in a state of “hypervigilance”, marked by nightmares and flashbacks.

All of them returned to work, a few weeks or months after the incident, but only one of them remained in Paris.

The other two preferred to leave the capital so as not to have, among other things, to carry out new missions in front of Notre-Dame.

Mehdi is the last of them to have resumed work in the field, only a fortnight ago, after two years spent in an investigative service, far from his initial vocation.

“I try very slowly to come out, to resume the course of my career.

Farid Ikken faces life imprisonment.


Terrorism: The atypical profile of Farid Ikken on trial for attacking police officers with a hammer


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  • Terrorism

  • Notre Dame de Paris

  • Police

  • Justice

  • Paris