Four Pakistanis Charged For Sept Hebdo Attack In France

Four Pakistani-origin men have been arrested by French security agencies for their suspected involvement in the recent attack outside the former office of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, Anadolu Agency reported citing French newspaper Le Parisien.

The arrests were made in the case related to the attack in which two people were wounded outside the weekly’s former office on September 25.

According to the report, three men were indicted on Friday by an anti-terrorism court in Paris for “criminal terrorist association”, while the fourth and the youngest defendant was charged earlier in the week on December 14.

The four young men are said to be aged between 17-21 and are believed to be friends and relatives of the main attacker Zaheer Hassan Mahmoud, the report said.

On September 25, days after the opening of the trail of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack that killed 12 cartoonists and staff members, Hassan struck two people seriously injuring them with a meat cleaver outside the premises of the magazine’s former office.

Hassan was arrested immediately on terrorism charges and remains in custody.

He told investigators that prior to the attack he had watched “videos from Pakistan” concerning the satirical magazine’s decision to republish the cartoons.

In a video uploaded in social media before the attack, a weeping Hassan said he was motivated by speeches of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the extremist leader of Tehreek-e Labbaik party, denouncing the caricatures. He had arrived in France in 2018 as an undocumented minor immigrant.

Rizvi, who died of Covid-19 in November, had been at the forefront of protests against France and had threatened the country with a nuclear attack.

During the protests, Rizvi called on Pakistan to launch nuclear attacks against France for its alleged act of “Islamophobia” after the European country vowed to fight radical Islamic terrorism.

The new arrests come days after, a Paris court on Wednesday found 14 suspects accused of aiding and abetting the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo guilty on terrorism charges. (ANI)

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