Two people were wounded this Friday in Paris, France in a knife attack that took place near the old satirical weekly journal Charlie Hebdo, where five years ago a terrorist attack hit the City of Lights. Two men were arrested shortly after the fact, charged with aggression in an ongoing investigation treated like a terrorist attack.
France’s Antiterrorism Prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for attempted murder related to a terrorist attack, associated criminal terrorism in light of this attack. The knife attack took place at around noon in the 11th arrondisement of France’s capital city.
No terrorist group has called the attack of their authorship so far, according to Jean-François Ricard, the motivation for the French antiterrorism prosecutor’s office to take the case relates to the place where the knife attack took place, and the moment. As currently the horrid Charlie Hebdo attacks five years ago are in trial. Five years ago, 17 people died perpetrated by the Kouachi brothers. A third motive, according to the prosecutor, would be the motivation of the assailants to act against the lives of two innocent persons.
The French Antiterrorism Prosecution office confirmed the arrest of two men. One of them is the material author of the attack. An 18-year old man with a rap sheet for common felonies and possession of an illegal firearm, the man had no previous radicalization history. Several media outlets assure that the man arrested is of Pakistani origin, though there’s no official confirmation for this. The second arrested suspect is in protective custody and authorities haven’t given details of his past.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex went to the site of the attacks, the interior minister Gérald Darmanin and the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo also appeared at the site. For Castex, who explained that the victims were workers from a news agency in the same building that used to host Charlie Hebdo’s offices. The site has been put on lockdown by the police and the investigation is ongoing. The French government takes terrorism charges very seriously and punishes harshly those involved in these heinous crimes.
Regardless of whether this is a terrorist attack or an isolated incident, this attack sends shockwaves through the French society who relives their darkest days with the Charlie Hebdo trial, the murder of a police officer and a terrorist attack at a Jewish supermarket in early 2015. The two victims that were wounded in this knife attack worked for Premièere Lignes at Franceinfo. The victims, a man and a woman were enjoying a cigarette break outside the building when the assailant approached them with a knife and began to stab them. Shouting alerted the neighbors who called the police. The police dispatch put on lockdown children’s schools in the surrounding areas expecting the worse, as worried parents waited anxiously to pick up their kids and go to the safety of their homes.
This knife attack takes place at the same moment at which the trial for the 2015 Charlie Hebdo currently unfolds at Parisian tribunals. The satirical journal, heavily criticised by radical Muslim fundamentalists for their depiction of the Muslim community and the drawings of the Prophet Muhammad. On Wednesday, hundreds of media outlets in France published a manifesto in defense of freedom of speech.