France: 7 in custody after stabbing linked to Charlie Hebdo

French Prime Minister Jean Castex (C) and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (C-L) arrive at the scene where several people were injured near the former offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo following an attack by a man in Paris on Sept. 25, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 26 September 2020

France: 7 in custody after stabbing linked to Charlie Hebdo

  • Counterterrorism authorities are investigating what authorities called an extremist attack linked to Charlie Hebdo
  • The suspected assailant in Friday’s stabbing had been arrested a month ago for carrying a screwdriver but was not on police radar for radicalization

PARIS: Seven people were in custody Saturday after a stabbing outside the former Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, including the suspected assailant, authorities said.
Counterterrorism authorities are investigating what authorities called an extremist attack linked to Charlie Hebdo, which lost 12 employees in an Al-Qaeda attack in 2015. The weekly, which routinely mocks religious and other prominent figures, recently republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that outraged many Muslims.
The suspected assailant in Friday’s stabbing had been arrested a month ago for carrying a screwdriver but was not on police radar for radicalization, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said. He said the screwdriver was considered a weapon, but did not explain why.
The suspect arrived in France three years ago as an unaccompanied minor, apparently from Pakistan, but his identity was still being verified, the minister said.
Seven others were detained in the aftermath of Friday’s attack, but one has been released, according to judicial officials. Five of those in custody were detained in the Paris suburb of Pantin in a residence where the suspect is believed to have lived, a police official said.
Two people were wounded in Friday’s attack, a woman and a man working at a documentary production company who had stepped outside for a smoke break.
The interior minister conceded that security was lacking on the street where Charlie Hebdo was once headquartered, and ordered special protection for all “symbolic sites,” noting in particular Jewish sites around the Yom Kippur holiday this weekend. A Jewish grocery store was targeted days after the Charlie Hebdo newsroom massacre, in what authorities say were coordinated attacks.


Man who spoke to Manchester bomber was ignored by security, inquiry hears

Updated 19 min 59 sec ago

Man who spoke to Manchester bomber was ignored by security, inquiry hears

  • Christopher Wild said he accosted Salman Abedi before he committed fatal terror attack
  • Salman Abedi would later detonate an explosive device inside Manchester Arena, killing 22 people

LONDON: A parent who spoke to a man he suspected was a terrorist at a music venue in the UK, before a fatal attack was carried out, has said his concerns were ignored by security.

Christopher Wild was at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, to pick up his 14-year-old daughter and her friend after attending an Ariana Grande concert when he saw a man who he thought could “let a bomb off” with a rucksack hiding on a mezzanine.

The man, Salman Abedi, would later detonate an explosive device inside the arena, killing 22 people.

Wild was speaking at a public inquiry into the attack, which is taking evidence on events in the build up and aftermath of the tragedy.

He said he was waiting with his partner Julie Whitley and said: “I just thought he could be very dangerous.”

He said he had spotted Abedi with a rucksack, and his partner had said to him: “It’s a kids’ concert. Why should he be sat there with a massive rucksack out of sight of everyone? It’s just very strange.”

Wild added: “I started to think about things that happened in the world and I just thought he could be very dangerous.”

He said he addressed Abedi despite feeling “a bit bad” for thinking he might be a terrorist. Wild said he asked him: “It doesn’t look very good you know, what you see with bombs and such, you with a rucksack in a place like this. What are you doing?”

He said Abedi responded: “I’m waiting for somebody mate. Have you got the time? What time is it?”

Wild added that he then approached Mohammed Agha, an event steward at the venue who was in the foyer below the mezzanine.

“He (Agha) said he already knew about him. That was about it really,” Wild said. “It was as if he had more important things to deal with — but in no way do I blame him because the guy was already in there. There was nothing more he could do.”

Whitley was badly injured in the explosion. She told the inquiry that Abedi’s rucksack had caught her eye because it was “massive,” and she believed he might have been a “dodgy merchandiser.”