French Paper Attacked in 2015 Reprints Mohammed Caricatures

September 1, 2020 Updated: September 1, 2020

PARIS—The French satirical paper whose Paris offices were attacked by Islamic terrorists in 2015 is reprinting caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed cited by the gunmen who opened fire on its editorial staff.

The January 2015 attacks against Charlie Hebdo and, two days later, a kosher supermarket, touched off a wave of killings claimed by the ISIS terrorist group across Europe. Seventeen people died—12 of them at the editorial officers—along with all three attackers.

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People hug each other outside Charlie Hebdo’s office, in Paris, on Jan. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Thirteen men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics go on trial on terrorism charges Wednesday. In an editorial this week accompanying the caricatures, the paper said the drawings “belong to history, and history cannot be rewritten nor erased.”

As the attackers, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, walked away from the carnage, they cried out “We have avenged the Prophet.” Claiming the attacks in the name of al-Qaeda, they then killed a wounded policeman point-blank and drove away.

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Women light candles to commemorate the victims killed in an attack at the Paris offices of the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in front of the French Embassy in Berlin, on Jan. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Two days later, a jailhouse acquaintance of theirs stormed a kosher supermarket on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath, killing four hostages and claiming allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group. The Kouachi brothers had by then holed up in a printing office with another hostage. All three attackers died in near-simultaneous police raids.

The supermarket attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, also killed a young policewoman.

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French President Francois Hollande, left, comforts French columnist for Charlie Hebdo Patrick Pelloux as they take part with family members and relatives in a solidarity march in the streets of Paris on Jan. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)

The caricatures re-published this week were first printed in 2006 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, setting off sometimes violent protests by Muslims who believe depicting Mohammed is blasphemy.

The paper’s Paris offices were firebombed in 2011 and its editorial leadership placed under police protection, which remains in place to this day.

By Lori Hinnant and Nicolas Vaux-Montagny