Skip to main content

Al-Qaeda's Paris attack not the first to target cartoonists

Al-Qaeda's attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris is not the group's first targeting of European cartoonists, as the group had planned to attack the offices of a Danish newspaper in 2009.
A protester shouts slogans during a demonstration against satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad as the cover of its first edition since an attack by Islamist gunmen, in front of the French embassy in Sanaa January 17, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi (YEMEN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST) - RTR4LS4B
Read in 

The terrorist attack in Paris targeting the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was not the first al-Qaeda plot to attack cartoonists in Europe. A plot foiled in 2009 to attack the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was eerily similar to the Paris operation and was connected directly to the senior al-Qaeda leadership.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed credit for the Paris attack in a series of messages, tweets and a video released Jan. 13. The 11-minute video featured AQAP ideologue Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, who unequivocally said AQAP "chose the target, laid the plan and financed the operation." This is consistent with media reports that at least one of the two French-Algerian brothers who carried out the attack trained with AQAP in Yemen.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.