The facts had plunged France back into terror. We are September 25, 2020. While the trial of the January 2015 attacks is being held before the special assize court in Paris, a new attack occurs on rue Nicolas-Appert, where the premises of Charlie Hebdo. The assault on the butcher’s slicer leaves two people injured. However, as reported The Sunday newspaper, October 18, investigators have images, those of the surveillance camera of the building which recorded the scene. They provide a better understanding of the course and context of the attack.
The facts take place in the morning. Two members of the Première Lines production team smoke a cigarette in front of the building. Zaheer Hassan Mahmoud, the alleged perpetrator, who admitted to being 25 and not 18, walks past them for the first time, according to these images. Then, with his red sneakers, he turns around. This is when he attacks the duo. At the same time, a woman passes by on a bicycle. The attacker will try to pursue her, but without succeeding, says the JDD. According to investigators from the anti-terrorism section of the criminal brigade, that is when he loses his weapon.
A smile that started it all
Indicted for “terrorist assassination attempts” and “terrorist criminal association”, the alleged perpetrator was imprisoned Tuesday, September 29 after four days in police custody. He had detailed wanting to protest against the republication of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and believed that the two victims worked for the newspaper. As he walked past the couple, he saw them smile. This innocent gesture in this place would have exasperated him. “Arriving in front of the street, and seeing the victims, he thought that the latter were working for [Charlie Hebdo] and decided to attack them […] suddenly, ”explained Jean-François Ricard, the national anti-terrorism prosecutor. That same morning, the man had also bought a hammer and bottles of white spirit. His initial plan was to enter the premises and set them on fire.
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If the thesis of an isolated act seems to emerge at the present time, the investigators continue to work on the existence of possible complicity. The co-residents of Zaheer Hassan Mahmoud, some of whom had been taken into custody, were exonerated.