A French "specialist of the Arab world", justified the attack perpetrated in front of the former premises of Charlie Hebdo on Friday 25 September in Paris.
“Yes we could have avoided it by not reposting the cartoons,” declared Anne Giudicelli, a guest invited to BFM TV on Saturday. It was obviously very serious, said the “specialist in the Arab world” and founder of Terrorisc. She argued that not republishing the cartoons would not be “an act of surrender” but that it would “be an act of intelligence”.
Anne Giudicelli even went further and implied that it had been a provocation from Charlie Hebdo. “When we republish a caricature, we will play the game of these organizations, so we have to fight differently. Already, we can at least reduce the risk,” she said. For her, “the fight should be waged on other grounds”. The French react badly to a terrorist risk, she added. “This is where we lose, the way we react to amateurism.” She suggested that society should respond differently to Islam, but she could present no alternatives.
Her comments immediately caused an uproar on social networks, triggering a torrent of indignant reactions. “Indeed, submission guarantees peace,” mocked a user. Another recalled that “blasphemy has been a right in France since it was removed from French law by the law of July 29, 1881 on freedom of the press”.
One writer remarked: “The attack could have been avoided with borders,” while another said he was “stunned” by her “expert” findings. He denounced Giudicelli’s “totally irresponsible” comments.
Finally, the expert in safety and risk management, Gilles Sacaze, quipped: “The origin of stupidity and cowardice is awarded to Madame Anne Giudicelli. Should we remember that Islamist terrorism strikes many countries without caricature?”
According to French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, there is almost no doubt that the act was another “bloody attack on our country”.
The police prefecture meanwhile must examine why they underestimated the threat in that particular street, even if the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo had moved a long time ago.
During the attack on Friday afternoon, two journalists from an agency who were taking a smoking break in front of the building were injured by an attacker. He is said to have attacked them with a cleaver.
A short time later, the police arrested an 18-year-old Pakistani man who is said to be the alleged main culprit. According to French media, he was already known to the police.
According to the French news agency AFP, there have been five more arrests. Among them is said to be a former roommate of the 18-year-old Pakistani.
A trial of 14 alleged accomplices and backers of the fatal attacks on the Charlie Hebdo editorial team in 2015 has been ongoing in Paris since September.
In 2015, several Islamists with assault rifles broke into the editorial building and opened fire on the staff and a security guard. Eleven people were killed. The motive for the act was the publication of Mohammed caricatures by Charlie Hebdo.
To mark the beginning of the current court case, the magazine reprinted the caricatures in a special issue. Since 2015, 258 people have been killed in Islamist attacks in France.
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