Officials have named the three suspects in the Charlie Hebdo terror attack. They are brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, both French-born citizens of Algerian descent; and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, citizenship unknown. Cherif Kouachi was arrested in 2005 for funneling jihadist fighters from France to Iraq and was planning to go there himself. He served 18 months of a three-year sentence for “criminal association with a terrorist enterprise.”
Read more about the suspects here:
Original story below.
Terrorists in France have killed 12 people in a shooting at the offices of a satire magazine. The shooting happened on the morning of January 7 in the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. French President Francois Hollande quickly arrived at the scene of the atrocity and immediately declared it a “terrorist attack.” It’s the worst mass killing in the city since Christian Dornier killed 14 people in an insane murder spree in 1989.
Watch terrifying video of the attack’s aftermath above.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. 10 Journalists & 2 Cops Are Dead
Kouachi and his alleged accomplices were armed with assault rifles and rocket launchers when they stormed the headquarters of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. In total 12 people were killed when the terrorists, described as commandos, fired as many as 50 shots during the daylight attack.
Of the 12 dead, 10 are journalists and two are police officers. Early reports suggest that specific journalists were called out by the gunmen before being shot. One of the police officers was shot at close range as he lay on the street. You can see more raw footage of the attack above.
Several more people were wounded in the attack, with some in critical condition.
French President Francois Hollande, who quickly arrived at the scene of the horror, called the attack one “of exceptional barbarity” and immediately deemed it to be terrorism.
Among the deceased victims are editor Stephane Charbonnier (pen name “Charb“); cartoonist Jean Cabut (pen name “Cabu,“); Georges Wolinski, an 80-year-old famed cartoonist; and economist Bernard Maris.
2. The Terrorists Escaped & Are Still at Large
There are believed to be two gunmen and a getaway driver. After the attack, the thugs drove their car to northern Paris where they hijacked another car. Speaking to the French TV station Itele, a witness, Benoit Bringer, said, “Two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs.
A few minutes later we heard lots of shots.” The car-switch is believed to have happened at the Porte de Pantin train station, reports the Guardian. Witnesses said that they had heard the terrorists shouting “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” (“Allah Akbar”). French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told the media that security forces are hunting for three “criminals.”
3. Charlie Hedbo Published Controversial Muhammad Cartoons & Was Firebombed in 2011
The offices of the paper were firebombed by a molotov cocktail in November 2011, one day after naming the Prophet Muhammad as “editor-in-chief” of a weekly issue renamed the “Sharia Hedbo.” The move was to “celebrate the victory of the Islamist Ennahda party in Tunisia.” Concurrent to the bombing, its website was hacked with the message “You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be God’s curse upon you!”
Charlie Hedbo previously enraged Muslims with the 2007 re-publication of cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad, first published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. For many Muslims, images or likenesses of the prophet are considered forbidden. The magazine is known for satirizing numerous religions.
4. Charlie Hedbo’s Last Tweet Satirized the ISIS Leader
5. Nobody Has Claimed Responsibility for the Attack
No group has claimed responsibility for the shooting. The terror threat level in France has been stepped up to its highest level with officials warning media to be on high alert of further attacks. French President Francois Hollande told the media after the Charlie Hebdo shooting that French security forces had been thwarting similar attacks in previous weeks. The Daily Telegraph reports that some witnessed heard the gunman identify themselves as being from Yemen’s al-Qaeda affiliate.
According to extremist monitoring group SITE, a contributor on one pro-jihadist forum wrote “Congratulations to France and its people for harvesting what their hands have sown.” Oxford University Professor Tariq Ramadan described the attacks as “a pure betrayal of our religion and our principles.”
Speaking to MSNBC, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said “Everybody here at the White House are with the families of those who were killed or injured in the attack. Senior officials at the White House have been in close touch with their counterparts in Frances this morning. The United States stand ready to work closely with the French.” The attack was also condemned by Russian President Vladimir Putin.