Shooting at Charlie Hebdo Not Surprising, Prof. Chukov Says
Armed attacks against media outlets like Wednesday’s shooting at the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo are often being carried out by radically-minded people who aren’t necessarily affiliated to a specific terrorist organization, Bulgarian Prof. Vladimir Chukov has said.
Chukov, an expert on the Middle East, the Arab world and Islam, told Novinite that very often such attacks are carried out by “people inspired by the ideas of Islamic State or Al-Qaeda”.
He declined to speculate who might be responsible for the shooting but said the gunmen raid in Paris wasn’t a surprise considering threats and attacks against cartoonists in Denmark and Sweden who had depicted the Prophet Mohammed several years ago.
Any depiction of Islam's prophet is considered blasphemy by many Muslims. Charlie Hebdo's publishing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in recent years has angered some Muslims and made it a target for attacks.
Twelve people were killed and at least 10 were injured when attackers burst in Charlie Hebdo's offices and began firing.
Asked about the likelihood of a similar terrorist attack taking place in Bulgaria, Chukov said that unlike France, Bulgaria is not involved in the military operations of the international coalition fighting Islamic State jihadist militants in Iraq and Syria.
France’s military involvement in the fight against Islamic State group, its air strikes against targets of the extremist group are "obviously making the situation very hard for France”, he added.
“Then, when we speak about jihadists fighting for Islamic State in Syria, we speak about people from Western Europe, from the Western Balkans but there are no people from Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria, among them”.
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