Image of the arrest of Zaheer Hassan Mahmoud last Friday, after attacking two people with a knife outside the former headquarters of 'Charlie Hebdo', in Paris.LAURA CAMBAUD / AFP
The main suspect in Friday's knife attack in front of the former headquarters of the satirical magazine
, which left two wounded, lied about his identity and also his age.
These data allowed him to benefit upon his arrival in France from Pakistan, two years ago, from the social aid provided for unaccompanied minors, as confirmed by the anti-terrorist prosecutor, Jean-François Ricard, on Tuesday.
The 25 and not 18-year-old Pakistani, whose real name is Zaheer Hassan Mahmoud, as he admitted after the photograph of a Pakistani passport under that name was found on his mobile phone, was to be presented this Tuesday before a judge for his indictment for "attempted murder in connection with a terrorist act" and for "criminal terrorist association".
During the 96 hours since his arrest on Friday under preventive arrest, the man has admitted to being the author of a premeditated attack caused by the "anger" that he said caused
to republish the Muhammad cartoons to Beginning of the trial for the jihadist attack that the satirical magazine suffered in January 2015 and that decimated its writing.
Although the young man made a survey of Nicolas Appert Street where the publication had its former headquarters in the days before the attack, he was unaware that it had moved to a place kept strictly secret after the attack five years ago.
His initial intention, explained Ricard at a press conference this Tuesday, was to set the newsroom on fire, for which he supplied himself with inflammatory liquid and a hammer in case he had to force entry, material that was found in the backpack he was carrying. when he was arrested.
Finally, when he saw a man and a woman smoking a cigarette outside the building, he decided to attack "in an extremely violent way" those who he believed were members of
, but who actually work in a production company located there. direction.
The man remains serious, although his life is not in danger, the prosecutor has declared.
A dozen people, including several roommates of the suspect, have been detained and interrogated in recent days, according to testimonies from around them, who have reported that Mahmoud spent a lot of time lately watching "abundant" videos from Pakistan about the protests over the publication of the Muhammad cartoons.
A video recorded on the same day of the attack, of just over two minutes, was also found on his phone, in which the attacker introduces himself, speaking in Urdu, as Zaheer Hassan Mahmoud and announces that he is going to "rebel" against the publication of the caricatures of Muhammad.
However, Ricard has specified, the young man "does not refer to any terrorist group in particular" and both under his real and fictitious identity - upon arriving in France he presented false documentation as Hassan Ali, born in 2002 - "he was totally unknown by all intelligence services ”.
In Pakistan, the Agence France Presse contacted the person posing as his father, Arshad Mahmoud, who declared himself "proud" of the attack perpetrated by his son because, he said, "he protected the honor of the prophet."
"Everyone in town has come to congratulate me," he said.
The confirmation that the attacker lied about his age to benefit from aid for unaccompanied minors arriving in France has roused a part of the conservative opposition and the National Regrouping, which has once again demanded the performance of bone tests to verify the The age of migrants who say they are minors, despite the fact that experts maintain that it is not an infallible test and the Constitutional Council itself warned last year that "they can carry a significant margin of error."
An estimated 40,000 unaccompanied minors currently benefit from social assistance in France.