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Charlie Hebdo Reprints Caricatures That Sparked Attack

To not do so amid trial would be 'cowardice,' editorial claims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2020 8:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – The French satirical paper whose staff was decimated in a violent attack by Islamic extremists in 2015 is reprinting caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed cited by the killers, declaring "history cannot be rewritten nor erased." The announcement on Tuesday came on the eve of the first trial for the January 2015 attacks against Charlie Hebdo and, two days later, a kosher supermarket, per the AP. Seventeen people died—12 of them at the editorial offices—along with all three attackers. Thirteen men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics go on trial Wednesday. In an editorial, the paper said that although it had declined to publish caricatures of Mohammed since the attacks, doing so for the opening of the trial was necessary. "The only reasons not to stem from political or journalistic cowardice," the editorial said.

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The caricatures were first printed in 2006 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten. As Charlie Hebdo attackers, brothers Chérif 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. 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 Islamic State group. Amedy Coulibaly also killed a young policewoman. The Kouachi brothers had by then holed up in a printing office with another hostage. All three attackers died in near-simultaneous police raids. Three of the accused will not be at the trial because they are abroad and it's not known if they're alive or dead. Among those is Coulibaly's wife, Hayat Boumedienne. (Read more Charlie Hebdo stories.)

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