BERKELEY (KCBS) – A provocative French cartoonist in the Bay Area, who has been a target himself, said he is stunned by the attack at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.

Khalil Bendib, who lives in Berkeley, said he fears even more violence. He said he idolized Jean Cabut, better known as Cabu, one of the cartoonists killed in the attack.

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“In my estimation, the best political cartoonist in the country,” Bendib said. “I grew up reading his stuff and he’s influenced my style.”

No stranger to controversy himself, Bendib is America’s best-known Muslim political cartoonist. He is horrified that anyone could be killed for expressing political opinions through art.

“It just shows you how dangerous this profession that we have really is,” he said. “I have received my share of death threats and worried about them. It is a violent profession, journalism in general, certainly cartooning.”

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Bendib said he knows the world will rally around the French newspaper, but he fears a backlash against Muslims in France, where much of his family still lives.

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