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Paris terrorist suspect who wounded 2 with meat cleaver wanted to set Charlie Hebdo offices on fire

2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attack (Passion Leica/WikiCommons)
September 29, 2020

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A Pakistani man accused of wounding two people with a meat cleaver in front of the former offices of Charlie Hebdo on September 25 did not know the satirical weekly had moved and wanted to set its offices on fire, a French prosecutor said on September 29.

Prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told a news conference that the suspect in what the French government has called an act of “Islamist terrorism” carried three bottles of a flammable paint thinner with which he wanted to set fire to the premises.

Ricard said the man, who had identified himself as Hassan A., an 18-year-old born in the Pakistani town of Mandi Bahauddin, operated under a false identity and that a photo of his passport on his phone showed that he was 25 years old.

Twelve people were killed in 2015 by attackers who raided Charlie Hebdo’s office in revenge for the publication of cartoons that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

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After the attack, the weekly moved its headquarters to an undisclosed location. It republished some of the cartoons this month to mark the beginning of the trial of 14 people with alleged links to the killers.