Pakistani Migrant Paris Attacker Revealed to Be 25 Not 18

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 25: Armed police secure the area of around the former Charlie He
Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

Paris investigators have revealed that the Pakistani migrant who attacked and injured two people outside of the former office of magazine Charlie Hebdo is actually 25 and not 18 as he had previously claimed.

Originally identified as 18-year-old “Hassan Ali,” the man’s true name has been revealed as Zaheer Hassan Mehmood and is 25-years-old. French media have also revealed social media posts prior to the attack showing the 25-year-old calling France a “land of disbelievers”.

The video, which a report from French newspaper Le Figaro claims was taken the morning of the attack or a day before it, shows the attacker emotional while singing and speaking in Urdu.

A source close to the investigation told Le Figaro that the video was meant to express his anger and disgust at the republishing of the Mohammed cartoons by Charlie Hebdo ahead of the trial for the attacks on the magazine’s offices in January 2015 that left twelve people dead.

The 25-year-old, who had originally applied for asylum as a minor three years ago, is said to have come to France by travelling through Iran, Turkey and then either Greece or the Balkan states.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin later commented on the attack stating, “Manifestly it’s an act of Islamist terrorism,” and added, “Obviously, there is little doubt. It’s a new bloody attack against our country, against journalists, against this society.”

While the 25-year-old has claimed to have acted alone, investigators say they are examining the possibility that he may have collaborated with other people. so far, six people have been arrested in connection with the investigation including the attacker’s younger brother and three other Pakistani migrants who lived with him.

Since the height of the migrant crisis, many countries have seen adult migrants claim to be underage in order to help their chances of getting asylum status and many countries have performed medical tests revealing large numbers of “minors” lie about their age.

Earlier this year, the French department of Côte-d’Or revealed that only 20 per cent of those who came to the area in 2019 and claimed to be minors were actually telling the truth.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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