Don’t bet on coincidences here, but also don’t jump to a conclusion just yet. Parisian prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into a stabbing attack that wounded two employees of a video production company. The attack took place outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine at the heart of a trial in France over the radical-Islamist terror attack five years ago that left 11 dead. It also followed the decision by the magazine to republish some of the same cartoons of Mohammed.
CBS News reports that police have one man in custody:
Police in the French capital arrested one man after a stabbing attack outside the former offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Friday. The Paris Police later confirmed there were no other suspects being sought.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed the attack, which police said had left two people wounded. Both victims, believed to be employees of a video production company that uses the office building, were left in serious but not life-threatening condition, according to the police.
The Paris prosecutor’s office opened a terrorism investigation into the stabbing not long after the suspect was apprehended on Friday.
Just three days ago, one of the magazine’s executives had to be relocated to protect her from threats over the republication of the cartoons. And of course, the trial of the accomplices of the two terrorists in 2015 — both shot and killed by police shortly afterward — was yet another source of worry over potential retaliation. The magazine insists it will never retreat on this point, however:
A trial for that attack opened in Paris on September 2. The newspaper marked the occasion by republishing some of the cartoons of the Islamic prophet. Al Qaeda recently renewed its calls for attacks targeting the newspaper, which now operates out of a secret, heavily-guarded location.
Charlie Hebdo journalists continue to receive threats, but its defiant director Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, who was among those injured in the 2015 attack, vowed in the edition published earlier this month: “We will never give in. And we will never give up.”
This still could be entirely unrelated, so be careful about jumping to immediate conclusions. However, the timing and location of the attack strongly suggests a purposeful motive, as opposed to just random insanity. We’ll update as developments warrant.