Terrorism has returned to haunt Charlie hebdo. The author of the attack on two people who were seriously injured on Friday in front of the former headquarters of the satirical magazine has linked his action with the decision of this to republish the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad on the occasion of the beginning of the trial for the attack against the writing in January 2015, according to what sources of the investigation assured several French media on Saturday. The detainee intended to attack the magazine, they added. Eight people around him remained under arrest, including a brother of the attacker.
The information that emerges around the 18-year-old Pakistani man who has assumed responsibility for the attack, identified by the French press as Ali H. or Hassan A., confirm the first suspicions that the scene of the crime was not accidental. The attacker “claims that he thought he was at Charlie's headquarters and that the people he attacked were members of the satirical magazine. He says he had watched "the place", he said Le Parisien citing research sources. The fact that a bottle of a flammable product was found in his backpack, he added, is because he initially planned to set fire to the building where he believed the newsroom was still located. Charlie hebdo, which since 2015 is in a place kept in the strictest secrecy and under intense security measures. The young man "has assumed his action, which he places in the context of the republication of the cartoons, something that he could not bear," confirmed the Agence France Presse, also from sources close to the investigations.
The preventive detention of the "main author", as the antiterrorist prosecutor, Jean-François Ricard, called him, was prolonged this Saturday. In addition to the attacker, eight other people from his surroundings were detained, including, according to various media, a younger brother of the attacker. The injured, a man and a woman workers of a production company that has its headquarters in the same building where the satirical magazine used to be, were recovering after leaving the operating room on Friday.
Despite the attacker's statements about his motives, a day after the attack, which, for Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, is “clearly an act of Islamist terrorism”, there were still many chiaroscuro. The events took place shortly before noon on Friday, when a man armed with a knife attacked two workers from a production company and news agency who were smoking a cigarette on Nicolas Appert's street, outside his office, located in the same building I was in Charlie hebdo when it was attacked by the brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi on January 7, 2015, an attack that decimated the magazine – eight of its collaborators were killed – and opened three days of jihadist attacks in Paris, including one against a Jewish supermarket, which left a total of 17 dead. The attacker on Friday managed to flee by metro, but was arrested shortly after in the nearby Place de la Bastille. The national antiterrorist prosecutor's office quickly took up the investigation for "attempted murder in connection with a terrorist act" and for "criminal terrorist association".
Darmanin confirmed on Friday that the attacker is a young man of Pakistani origin who arrived in France in August 2018, as an unaccompanied minor. According Liberation, is originally from a town near Lahore, from which he left with a brother two years younger in 2017 for Turkey. From there they left for Europe. Research sources had anticipated Le Monde that the man, who would chatter in French and English, assumed, once arrested, a "political dimension" of his act, which would have been premeditated and not the result of some impulse.
Prosecutor Ricard had already highlighted "the manifest will of the author to attempt against the lives of two people" as one of the main reasons why the terrorist track is privileged, beyond the place and time chosen. The young man would have assured investigators that he acted alone and, at least for the moment, no extremist organization has assumed responsibility for the attack. The searches carried out in two of the houses that the young man has occupied since his arrival in France have not yet revealed any link with a terrorist group, according to Le Monde. Investigators are trying to find out when a young man who was not on the radar of the security forces decided to take action because of his possible radicalization.
After what Charlie hebdo re-published the cartoons of Muhammad at the beginning of the trial, on September 2, the jihadist threats have multiplied. This week, a hundred French media published a platform in solidarity with the satirical magazine calling on all citizens to defend freedom of expression together.
After Darmanin said that the threat from symbolic places like the old newsroom of the magazine might have been "underestimated", Le Parisien It indicated that the Paris police prefecture assured on Saturday that "the former Charlie Hebdo property was not subject to any known threat and that the companies currently staying there are not subject to any threat either."