Two people were injured in a knife attack in Paris and the alleged perpetrators were arrested. France is fighting terrorism just a few meters from the former seat of the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”.
Sirens, blocked streets, loud cries from police officers: after a long pause in Paris, the fear of terror has returned. In front of the building where the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” once had its editorial office, two journalists were injured in a knife attack on Friday. The anti-terror investigators have taken over the investigation. Police have arrested two suspects. France’s Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, has now stated that the attack is “clearly an Islamist terrorist act”.
Home Secretary Christophe Castaner (Source: IP3press / image images)
Journalists are injured, but are not in danger of death
The incident took place around noon on Rue Nicolas Appert. An employee of the production company “Premières Lignes”, which works for the channel France 2, among others, was injured in the attack. It is said that you have just taken a smoking break. According to Prime Minister Jean Castex, the victims are not in danger. The editorial office of “Charlie Hebdo” has moved – in January 2015, eleven people were brutally murdered in the newsrooms.
Shortly afterwards, two suspects were arrested near the crime scene. According to the prosecutor, one of them would be the main culprit. According to consistent media reports, this is an 18-year-old who was born in Pakistan. The second suspect is said to be a 33-year-old. There was no information from the prosecutor. The Franceinfo station reported a raid near Paris, in the Val-d’Oise department. The main suspect would have lived there.
So far 250 dead in terrorist attacks
France has been rocked by Islamist attacks for years – more than 250 people died. Therefore, people are almost always aware of the threat of terrorism. But the country is currently fighting another demon: the coronavirus. Thousands of new infections appear every day and the situation is noticeably getting worse. Even if that pushed the fear of terror into the background – about seven kilometers from the crime scene, something reminds us of the danger almost every day.
French police cordoned off the knife attack area in Paris. The population must avoid the area. (Source: Alain Jocard / dpa)
The trial of alleged helpers of the terror series in January 2015, in which a total of 17 people died, has been taking place there in the Palace of Justice since the beginning of this month. You can only enter the Glass Palace under strict security conditions. When the trial began, Charlie Hebdo republished cartoons of Mohammed – and the editorial board was again threatened. In an open letter, some 100 French media outlets supported the satirical magazine – urging the people of the country to stand up for freedom of expression.
Prime Minister determined to fight terrorism
Prime Minister Castex rushed to the crime scene in the eleventh arrondissement of Paris on Friday afternoon. He spoke of a “symbolic place”. “I want to express my solidarity with the families of the victims and all colleagues of these two journalists,” he said. He reiterated his “firm determination” to fight terrorism by all means. Charlie Hebdo editors also responded: “The entire Charlie team supports and shows solidarity with its former neighbors and colleagues.”
Thousands of students had to wait for hours in schools as a precaution after the attack on this rainy gray Friday. Parents could not get their little ones out of the crib. Again, an entire area of Paris was off-limits – heavily armed security forces cordoned off the entire area in the east of Paris around the crime scene, and numerous emergency vehicles drove into the streets. “Merde, merde,” cursed an old lady who did not come home.
The cover of a “Charlie Hebdo” edition: It is still unclear whether the attack had anything to do with the editorial staff. (Source: Riccardo Milani / Image Images)
France also took action against terrorist militias in West Africa
Authorities continue to rate the terrorist threat in the country as very high. President Emmanuel Macron has always made the fight against terrorism a top priority. In April a man killed two people in Romans-sur-Isère near Valence. In August, six French were killed in a deadly attack in Niger – the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia assumed responsibility for the crime.
And France is not only fighting terror in its own country: as a former colonial power, France is deeply involved in the fight against Islamic militias in West Africa. The anti-terror mission “Barkhane” was only expanded to about 5,100 soldiers in February.
Charles Michel, President of the EU Council, stressed that terrorism has no place on European soil. “All my thoughts are with the victims of this cowardly act of violence,” the Belgian wrote on Twitter. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also described the act in the social network as a “cowardly attack”. Italy is on the side of those who oppose all forms of violence.