Italian police seek Pakistanis tied to 2020 attack in Paris

June 7, 2022 GMT

MILAN (AP) — Authorities in the northwestern Italian port city of Genoa on Tuesday were executing arrest warrants on 14 Pakistani citizens linked to the man who stabbed two people in September 2020 outside the former offices in Paris of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.

The suspects are accused of criminal association with an international terror group, and are suspected of belonging to a terror cell called “Gabar Group” with direct links to the attacker, Pakistani-born Zaher Hassan Mahmood, anti-terrorism investigators said in a statement.

Mahmood, now 27 and in French custody, told investigators that he acted out of anger over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that had been recently republished by the weekly paper.

Two people were seriously wounded in the stabbing, which took place outside the newspaper’s former offices where Islamic extremists killed 12 people in January 2015. The two brothers involved in the 2015 attack targeted Charlie Hebdo because they believed the newspaper had blasphemed Islam by publishing the same Muhammad caricatures.