She said she did not take the news seriously at first, recalling previous death threats and a Molotov cocktail attack in 2011, which was not fatal.
But as the death of Charb, the magazine's editor-in-chief was confirmed, and later on 10 other colleagues including well-known cartoonists Cabu and Wolinski, El Rhazoui understood the gravity of the attacks.
"I'm not a survivor, I consider myself instead as a fighter. I don't consider myself as a victim, but instead as someone who is lucky to be alive today, compared to those who were killed," she said.
El Rhazoui, a fierce critic of Islamist ideology, has received death threats for her controversial views and has taken people to court for it. She has been protected by bodyguards since the attacks.
"And so, maybe I have a duty with regards to them, to continue the fight to defend the ideas for which they gave their lives," she said.
El Rhazoui resigned from Charlie Hebdo in 2016, but is one of the civil parties in the trial that started on Wednesday (September 2) against 14 suspects accused of helping the perpetrators.
More than 250 people have been killed in France in Islamist violence since the attacks, which laid bare France's struggle to counter the threat of homegrown militants and foreign jihadists.