Nantes knifeman was known to police, converted to Islam in prison

The knifeman responsible for Friday’s attack near Nantes has now been identified as 39-year-old Ndiaga Dieye, an ex-con who was radicalised in prison during an eight year sentence and had only been released in March.

Dieye had also been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was placed into an assisted living facility following his released from prison. Despite having a long rap sheet including the offences of aggravated theft and forcible confinement, he had not been convicted of any terror-related offences.

Dieye is believed to have entered the police station in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre on Friday morning around 10am claiming to have car trouble. He proceeded to then stab a female officer multiple times in the leg, arm and hand.

After grabbing his victim’s handgun, the man went on the run resulting in a huge police manhunt which lasted just over three hours before the assailant was arrested following a shootout.

Dieye used the stolen pistol to shoot two more police officers, on in the hand and another in the arm, before police returned fire leaving him in a serious condition. Despite being given medical assistance, the assailant died at the scene.

An updated police statement confirmed that the initial victim is now in a stable condition. “Her condition still requires treatment but there are no concerns, although this does not imply her recovery time and the psychological impact this assault will have on her,” the statement read.

“What more could have happened? It is obvious that we do not come out unscathed, it leaves a mark that will permanently permeate the rest of life.”

The attack had similarities to a confirmed terror attack in Rambouillet a month ago when French police officer Stephanie Monferme had her throat slit by a Tunisian migrant knifeman who was consequently shot dead by police.

National Rally leader Marine Le Pen, who is expected to run French President Emmanuel Macron close in next year’s presidential election, said of the attack: “I refuse to allow attacks on our police officers to become our daily life. We must finally fight this barbarism and never, absolutely never get used to it.

She later questioned how an “individual known for radicalisation, known to have wanted to attack police” could be “outside free to harm”, and called on the government to “provide answers to this intolerable situation”.