Terrorism charges filed in stabbings near former Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris

Elias Hubbard
October 1, 2020

A judge also placed the man - who has identified himself as 25-year-old Pakistani-born Zaheer Hassan Mehmood - under judicial investigation for criminal association with terrorists, the prosecuting authority PNAT said, adding that a request had been made for him to be remanded in custody.

Two people were seriously wounded in last weeks stabbing which took place outside the newspapers former offices where Islamic extremists killed 12 people in January 2015.

Investigating magistrates handed him preliminary charges of attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise, the counter-terrorism prosecutors office said Wednesday.

He is believed to have stabbed two people outside the former Charlie Hebdo headquarters because he thought that they were some of the magazine's staff members, Ricard pointed out.

When arrested on Friday, he told police his name was Hassan Ali and gave his age as 18.

Jean-François Ricard, a counter-terrorism prosecutor, said Mahmood had reconnoitred the area on three separate days shortly before his attack.

Mr Ricard said the assailant did not claim an affiliation with a specific extremist group.

It was under that identity that he appeared in a video filmed before the attack, in which he said he was avenging the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

"Initially, he wanted to enter the building, if needed...."

Several associates and relatives of the knifeman have all been released without charges.

The two people wounded in Friday's attack were a woman and a man working at the Premieres Lignes documentary production company who had stepped outside for a smoke break.

A month ago, Charlie Hebdo again published some of those cartoons, saying it was to mark the opening of the trial of those accused of being accomplices to the shooters of the 2015 attack.

The satirical publication reprinted the caricatures earlier this year ahead of the trial into the attacks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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