IN what may have been a test run to check how alert police in Paris might be, a man parked a Peugeot 607 without number plates a few metres away from the Cathedral of Notre Dame and then left the vehicle which contained seven gas canisters but turned on the hazard lights.
Police quickly checked the vehicle, discovered the canisters, at least one of which was empty and traced the owner who was on a terrorist check list and arrested him, together with another person, known to both the authorities and the arrested man.
It is just possible that there may be a perfectly innocent explanation as there was no detonator found for the parking of the car as a similar event occurred near the Houses of Parliament in London in the early 1980s when police spotted a car with Irish number plates and a covered bundle on the back seat parked outside a government building.
The building was evacuated and the army undertook a controlled explosion much to the surprise of the Irish owner who had been having lunch in a pub around the corner prior to collecting his washing from the back of the car to take to a launderette.
Any activity which takes place around this important religious site which attracts millions of tourists each year is however acted upon swiftly as Notre Dame is considered a prime target for a future terror attack.