French police arrest five more suspects over Paris stabbing

Police in France detain five more people for questioning in connection with stabbing attack outside former offices of Charlie Hebdo.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Police in Paris
Police in Paris

Police in France have detained five more people for questioning in connection with Friday’s stabbing attack outside the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, AFP reports.

The five are all men born between 1983 and 1996 who were arrested in the Paris suburb of Pantin during a search of a property linked to the main suspect.

The stabber, who was armed with a meat cleaver, wounded two people before being arrested by police.

France's PNAT specialist anti-terror prosecution office said it has opened a probe into charges of "attempted murder related to a terrorist enterprise" as well as "conspiracy with terrorists."

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the attack was "clearly an act of Islamist terrorism".

"It's the street where Charlie Hebdo used to be, this is the way the Islamist terrorists operate," Darmanin told broadcaster France 2. "This is a new bloody attack on our country."

Darmanin said the suspect had arrived in France three years ago as "an isolated minor".

Five schools in the area went into lockdown for several hours after the attack, and half a dozen nearby metro stations were closed.

The stabbing came during the trial of 14 alleged accomplices of brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, the perpetrators of the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo that was claimed by a branch of Al-Qaeda.

A female police officer was killed a day later, followed the next day by the killing of four men in a hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket by gunman Amedy Coulibaly.

The magazine received fresh threats from Al-Qaeda this month after it republished the controversial cartoons.

More than 100 French news outlets on Wednesday called for continuing support for Charlie Hebdo against what they described as the "enemies of freedom".

Just this week, police relocated the paper's head of human resources, Marika Bret, from her home following death threats.

The trial, which opened on September 2, was suspended on Thursday after accused Nezar Mickael Pastor Alwatik fell ill in the stand.

When it resumed on Friday, an intelligence officer told the court that it was a "huge regret" that his services had been unable to prevent the 2015 attacks.

Since the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by ISIS, the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.

The country has been under a heightened alert in recent years in the wake of the attacks.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)