Paris Stabbing Suspect Admits He Was Trying to Target Charlie Hebdo: Report

This grab taken from a video obtained by AFP shows French police detaining an alleged suspect after several people were injured near the former offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo following an attack by a man wielding a knife in Paris on September 25, 2020. - A man …
LAURA CAMBAUD/AFP via Getty Images

The 18-year-old Pakistani currently being held by French police for attacking two people with a meat cleaver has reportedly admitted that he had wanted to target those working at Charlie Hebdo in revenge for the satirical magazine republishing cartoons of the Muslim prophet, Mohammed.

The attack occurred on Friday outside of the former offices of Charlie Hebdo in the 11th district of Paris, with France’s interior minister calling it an “act of Islamic terrorism”.

Police arrested the suspected knifeman at the scene, and while he is believed to have carried out the attack alone, eight others have been detained. Five of those were arrested in the troubled Seine-Saint-Denis suburb, which is believed to be the last know address of the main suspect.

Sources close to the investigation told Agence France-Presse that the 18-year-old migrant “takes responsibility for his action” and justified it “in the context of the republication of cartoons”.

On September 1st, Charlie Hebdo republished the Mohammed cartoons before the opening of the trial for the January 2015 al-Qaeda shooting attack on the magazine’s office, which resulted in 12 deaths. The trial is also for the connected murder of a policewoman, and the siege of a Jewish supermarket, where four Jewish hostages were killed. Police had killed all three attackers. Fourteen people are on trial for aiding the Islamist terrorists.

Following the 2015 attack, the offices for the magazine had moved to a secret location which remains under heavy security. Wanting to target those working for Charlie Hebdo, the Pakistani had instead stabbed two employees from the TV production agency Premieres Lignes, whose building is in the same block where the magazine was formerly based, according to the source’s comments reported on Saturday.

The victims were “badly wounded”, but are said to not be in life-threatening danger. The two people, believed to be a man and a woman, had stepped out from their office on a cigarette break. One employee who witnessed the incident said: “I went to the window and saw a colleague, bloodied, being chased by a man with a machete.”

The suspect has not been named, but French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had said that he arrived in the country three years ago as an unaccompanied minor from Pakistan.

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