(New York, N.Y.) – Last week, a man wielding a butcher’s knife stabbed two bystanders outside of the former offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where assailants affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed 12 people in January 2015 after the magazine published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. At the time, the shooting was the deadliest terrorist incident on French soil in 50 years.
According to French officials, the suspect of the September 25 knife attack, Pakistani national Zaher Hassan Mahmood, sought to set the Charlie Hebdo offices on fire after the magazine recently republished the controversial cartoons. The attack occurred during the ongoing trial against Hayat Boumedienne, Mohamed Belhoucine, Mehdi Belhoucine, and 11 other individuals for aiding the 2015 terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo.
On September 14, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) noted that a pro-AQAP media group released a statement encouraging attacks in France in response to the magazine’s decision. The message was located on the Internet Archive.
Brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi who perpertrated the 2015 attack stated their allegiance to AQAP during the assault and trained with the group, according to Yemeni intelligence. The brothers were killed in a shootout with French police near Paris two days later.
To read CEP’s France resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula resource, please click here.