Anti-terrorist prosecutors said the circumstances of the attack suggested a symbolic gesture.
“Given the location of the attack in front of the building in which Charlie’s editorial office was previously installed,” the incident was investigated as a possible terrorist attack, said Parisian prosecutor Rémy Heitz at a press conference on site.
The stab wound on Friday occurred near a mural of the murdered Charlie Hebdo journalists, a de facto memorial in the city. The stabbing takes place amid the ongoing and publicly known trial of 1
Prime Minister Jean Castex said the victims’ lives were not at risk in this case.
“First of all, I wanted to show my solidarity with the families of the victims,” said Castex on site. “I reaffirm our unwavering attachment to the freedom of the press and the fight against terrorism, and I want to assure the nation of our full mobilization.”
While searching for suspects on Friday, Paris police cordoned off the area to the east of the city and detained children in nearby schools inside.
In January 2015, Charlie Hebdo aimed to print cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that were strictly forbidden by the Muslim faith. (The offices were also set on fire in 2010 for the same reason.) The two brothers who attacked the offices in 2015 were linked to al-Qaeda. They were recorded as they fled the scene and said they had “avenged the prophet.”
To mark the opening of the trial and all the emotions it evoked in France earlier this month, Charlie Hebdo re-published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. The newspaper’s editor, Laurent Sourisseau, reported that Charlie Hebdo was again threatened by al-Qaeda for publishing the cartoons in early September.