The father of Ali Hassan, a young man who stabbed two persons in an attack using a meat cleaver outside the former Paris office of the controversial Charlie Hebdo magazine last week, has said he is “proud” of his son. In an interview to the web-based channel Naya Pakistan, the father, whose name is not revealed, said his son has “done a great job” and he is “very happy” about the attack.
The French government had condemned the stabbing on Friday outside the former office of the satirical magazine as an act of “Islamist terrorism”.
The man, earlier identified as Ali Hassan, seriously injured two employees of TV production agency Premieres Lignes, whose offices are in the same city centre block that used to house the magazine Charlie Hebdo. The magazine had shifted out after the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo, a policewoman and a Jewish supermarket that left 17 people dead. The magazine’s current address is kept secret for security reasons, AFP reported.
On Monday, the news agency said the man, who had declared earlier in a two-minute video that he was going to target the magazine, identified himself as Zaheer Hassan Mehmood.
Ali Hassan aka Zaheer Hassan Mehmood is accused of stabbing two persons believed to be working with the magazine. Friday’s attack came three weeks into a trial in Paris of suspected accomplices of the culprits in the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo, a policewoman and a Jewish supermarket that left 17 people dead, news agency Reuters said.
Back in Pakistan, the attacker’s father appealed to the Imran Khan government and other Islamic countries to help bring his son home. “I want to appeal to the Pakistan government to bring my son home. He has done service in the cause of Islam and we are a Muslim country,” he told the Pakistani channel .
Ali Hassan, his father said, “was a good son” who prayed regularly and attended Milad twice a year. He said that Ali Hassan was a follower of Muhammad Ilyas Qadri, a Pakistani Sunni Muslim scholar and founder of the Dawat-e-Islami organisation, which has established a chain of madrasas across Pakistan and abroad.
Ali Hassan’s father, a farmer, lives in the small town of Mandi Bahauddin in Punjab. He said that Ali Hassan had gone to France two years ago. Of his five sons, three are abroad – two in France and one in Italy. “My son has the heart of a lion,” he told his interviewer.