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>> Less than a day after Paris police thwarted an assailant armed with a hammer outside the cities Notre Dame Cathedral, the new French counter terrorism task force having its first day on the job. Its goal, to better coordinate the country's multiple security agencies directly from the French Presidential Palace with a staff of over 20 operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
President Emmanuel Macron ordering its creation last month after he was portrayed by rivals as weak on national security during his presidential campaign. His allies facing a parliamentary election on Tuesday. Macron's also pledged to rebuild the country's domestic surveillance apparatus, it was cut down by conservative predecessor Nicholas Sarkozy in 2008.
Over 230 people have been killed in France by Islamist militants in the last two and a half year. The country is in a state of emergency. But the attack at Notre Dame was stopped before it could get out of hand. This surveillance footage showing the moment the assailant assaulted the police officer before he was shot.
Authorities say he shouted, this is for Syria. Almost a thousand tourists and worshippers locked inside the cathedral as it was put on lockdown. A Reuters source has identified the attacker as 40-year-old Farid Ikken, originally from Algeria and a student in communications, a video said to be found in his apartment showing him pledging to Islamic State.
Both the French government and the acquaintances spoke to media, say he expressed no extreme views. Intelligence services across Europe are under scrutiny as they struggle to deal with a wave of tax, simple and unsophisticated assaults such as this, in the recent In the recent vehicle and knife attack in London, proving difficult to prevent