French Man Charged With Threats Over Cartoon

Planned Revenge Attack on Satire Magazine: Police

By Reuters

Published September 20, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Police detained a young man in southern France on Thursday on suspicion that he was planning a revenge attack on the staff of a satirical magazine which published cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

Anti-terrorism magistrates near the Mediterranean port city of Toulon questioned the 18-year-old after he threatened in a message on Facebook to cut the throats of anyone he could find at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a judicial source said.

The magazine’s publication of cartoons ridiculing Mohammad added to the anger of Muslims already outraged over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States and posted on the Internet.

The suspect had no police record but he was already known to security services, the source said, without giving further details.

Police in France are on high alert for attacks by Islamist militants. They were criticised for failing to stop an al Qaeda-inspired gunman shooting dead seven people in March, including three Jewish children, in the southern city of Toulouse.

The shooter, Mohamed Merah, had been interviewed by police after returning from a visit to Afghanistan and had a violent criminal record.

The government, which has criticised the cartoons, plans to shut schools and diplomatic offices in 20 countries on Friday as a precaution against protests after attacks on U.S. and German embassies, some of them deadly.

Police have refused a request to hold a protest against the film in Paris, after some 150 participants in an illegal demonstration near the U.S embassy were arrested on Sunday. France has Europe’s largest population of Muslims.

“People in the suburbs are very upset over the publication of these cartoons,” said Mohamed Mechmache, head of the ACLEFEU association for urban youths, created in the wake of riots that swept French suburbs in 2005.

“They feel there is a double standard when it comes to free speech: it’s okay to mock the Prophet, but we can’t protest against it … All it would take for things to spiral out of control is a police check that goes wrong.”

In another incident which might exacerbate strains, an 18-year-old young French woman was sentenced to two months in jail for refusing to comply with a police identity check while she was wearing a banned full-face veil in public.

The woman resisted police when they asked to check her identity in front of a mosque in central Marseille in July, during the holy Muslim fasting period of Ramadan.

Under a French law from 2010, a person wearing a “burqa” or “niqab” style full-face veil can be stopped by police. If she refuses to remove her veil, she can be fined or sentenced to community service. Repeat offenders face jail.

In addition to being jailed and receiving a six-month suspended prison sentence, the veiled woman was ordered to pay damages of 1,000 euros ($1,300) to a female police officer whom she bit during the altercation.

Two young men who were accompanying the woman were also sentenced to two months’ jail for fighting with police when they tried to carry out the identity check.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.