A week after a meat cleaver attack in Paris in which two people were wounded, the attacker, identified as Zaheer Hassan Mehmood has been charged with “attempted murder with relation to a terrorist enterprise,” AFP reported on Tuesday.
Mehmood, a 25-year-old man born in Pakistan, has also been placed under judicial investigation for criminal association with terrorists, French anti-terrorist prosecutors authority PNAT said. It added that a request had been made for him to be remanded in custody.
The 25-year-old admitted that he lied to police about his age, that he was 18, adding that he had entered the country as a minor, national anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard in the case said. The assailant identified himself as Hassan A, an 18-year-old born in the Pakistani town of Mandi Bahauddin.
Richard said Mehmood entered France in 2018 under the false identity, which gave him access to social security aid for minors. He added that the attacker never attracted the attention of any government intelligence agency before Friday’s assault.
Mehmood, under the false identity, said, before the attack in a video, he was avenging the publication of caricatures of Prophet Mohammed by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Last week, Mehmood seriously wounded two employees of a TV production agency whose offices are on the same block that used to house Charlie Hebdo. They are now in stable condition, officials said.
The magazine was the scene of a massacre by Islamist gunmen in January 2015, and the trial of 14 alleged accomplices in that attack is currently underway in Paris.
He told investigators he thought he was targeting employees of Charlie Hebdo, but did not realise they had since moved to a new location that is kept secret because of security risks.