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Over a dozen Pakistanis linked to the 2020 Charlie Hebdo attack arrested in Italy

Those arrested in Italy and Europe have been charged with conspiracy to commit international terrorism, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. An Italian judge signed 14 arrest warrants concerning offenses related to "international terrorism".

Jun 08, 2022
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In a major sting operation, Italy and Europol have arrested as many as fourteen Pakistani nationals in connection to the Charlie Hebdo attack in 2020. All arrested people are reportedly part of a cell linked to Zaheer Hassan Mahmood, the attacker in the 2020 Charlie Hebdo assault.

The sting operation — coordinated by the European Counter Terrorism Centre with the involvement of law enforcement officials of France and Spain—led to "arrests in Italy and abroad of Pakistani citizens with direct ties" to Zaheer Hassan Mahmood, Italian police said.

Charlie Hebdo, a Paris-based satirical magazine came to the global limelight after it published its satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad that is blasphemous in Islam. The magazine, which came under the radar of Muslim extremist groups, when two French Muslim brothers forced their way into their office in Paris armed with rifles and other weapons and killed 12 people and injured 11 others.

Zaheer, 27, being unaware that the magazine offices were shifted to a different location, went to its former office in Paris in 2020, and wounded two workers of an agency that had taken over the office space.

Those arrested in Italy and Europe have been charged with conspiracy to commit international terrorism, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. An Italian judge signed 14 arrest warrants concerning offenses related to "international terrorism".

Arrest warrants were issued against people belonging to a “network of Islamic extremists”....who were planning attacks.” 

(SAM)

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