*TAKE ACTION ALERT* If you want to do your part to make sure this never happens again, you can sign the petition that ACLJ has created that will strip citizenship from terrorists. They are fighting to take away passports and citizenship from terrorist traitors that leave America to join ISIS or Al-Qaeda so they can’t come back to the U.S. and commit acts of terror.
*UPDATED 1/9, 10pm Paris time: It is confirmed that Amedy Coulibaly, Said Kouachi, and Cherif Kouachi have been killed, along with 4 hostages that were at the Jewish deli. 4 more hostages and 3 police officers were injured from the standoff.
When the brothers were cooped up in the printing firm, what was originally believed to be a hostage situation was actually incorrect. The employee named Lilian Lepere, 27, was in the building at the time and hid in a box for the duration the brothers were there. The suspects were not aware that he was in the building with them.
As it turns out, Amedy Coulibaly met one of the brothers, most likely Cherif, in prison, where they began to plot their terrorist attacks. The Kouachi brothers spent years committing small crimes and doing menial jobs and were on a U.S. no-fly list.
Police are on the hunt for Coulibaly’s accomplice- his longtime girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene.
*UPDATED 1/9, 5:38pm Paris time: Loud explosions were heard at the supermarket and gunfire and explosions were heard at the printing firm only moments apart, and it looks like it’s all over. The police stormed both locations, and now the Charlie Hebdo attackers are dead, and it is believed that the hostage taker at the deli is dead as well. Some hostages have been freed so far. It does appear, however, that 4 hostages at the deli unfortunately lost their lives, but the hostage at the printing firm has been released.
*UPDATED 1/9/15, 5pm Paris time: The heavily-armed man that killed a policewoman yesterday, is now holed up in a Paris kosher supermarket in the east side of Paris, threatening to kill his over a dozen hostages if the police move in on the Kouachi brothers. There already has been gunfire heard, one person has been injured, and the SWAT team, thousands of police officers, soldiers, and armored vehicles are all over that place have been all over that place for hours.
Another hostage situation is going on 25 miles north of Paris. The two main suspects that conducted the Charlie Hebdo attack, the Kouachi brothers, took a hostage and holed up in a printing firm.
In 2011, the brothers have apparently visited Yamen and trained to be killers there in an Al-Queda training camp, although they were originally born in France. The terrorists are claiming that they don’t want to kill the hostage, but they want to die as martyrs. We originally thought that the two terrorist attacks were unrelated, but now we understand that they are completely intertwined with one another as it all comes together. Police have found the DNA of the Kouachi brothers in the apartment of the suspect involved in the policewoman shooting.
*UPDATED 1/8/15: The first chilling photos of the blood-stain room in Charlie Hebdo were released.
And the citizens of France gathered in Paris to pay respect to the deceased. The Eiffel Tower went dark for 5 minutes at 8pm as a somber tribute, and people held up “Je Suis Charlie” and “I Am Charlie” signs, along with pens and pencils to signify their stance against terrorism for freedom of expression.
French police are now searching for the terrorists in an enormous 51-square-mile forest, Foret de Retz. The two key suspects of the Charlie Hedbo attack are reported to have last been seen at a gas station, where they robbed it and abandoned their Renault Clio car.
In Paris, a man walked up to policewoman named Clarissa Jean-Philippe who was attending to a traffic accident and gunned her down, but it may be unrelated to the Charlie Hebdo attack (UPDATE: the two situations are linked). A heroic street cleaner who stepped in to try to stop the attacker was shot in the face but will survive.
*UPDATED 1/7/15: The three men who performed the attack have been identified, and the youngest has surrendered to the police. They are Frenchmen brothers Said, 34, and Cherif, 32, Kouachi, as well as 18-year-old brother-in-law Hamyd Mourad. KoloTV reports that they were linked to a Yemeni terrorist network, and they told the woman who was forced to unlock the building for them that they are from Al-Queda. Cherif Kouachi was convicted in 2008 of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s insurgency and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Mourad handed himself in to the police Wednesday night after seeing his name circulating on social media. He has been arrested and taken into custody, while the massive manhunt for the other 2 men is still underway.
Mid-morning on Wednesday, Paris, France has become the victim of the worst terrorist attack the city has seen in half a century. Heavily armed masked gunmen stormed the Paris office of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and reportedly yelling “allahu akbar” and “we have avenged the Prophet” before escaping in two stolen vehicles. 10 journalists and 2 police officers were killed, 11 people were injured and 4 of those had serious injuries. Deaths included the editor and cartoonist who went by the pen names Charb and Cabu. The gunmen got into the building by holding a man at gunpoint, forcing him to type in the code for the building. They proceeded to walk into the board room where an editorial meeting was being held, where they said the names of the individuals before shooting them at point-blank range.
In this video, you can see the policeman get mercilessly killed, even when he is injured on the ground and pleading for mercy. This version skips the part where the terrorists shoot the officer for the last time, ending his life.
Charlie Hebdo is a publication that is strongly anti-religious and left-wing, publishing articles on making fun of Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, and many more. They have repeatedly received threats for their publications of many cartoons making fun of the Prophet Muhammad in the past, along with other controversial sketches, so they were already under police protection. Their offices were also firebombed in 2011, however editor Charb refused to tone down the offensive material and has said “I would rather die standing than live on my knees.” Several attacks had been stopped in France in recent weeks, but now France raised its security to the highest level at this point, reinforcing security at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transportation. A few minutes before the attack, minutes before the attack Charlie Hebdo had tweeted a satirical cartoon of the extremist group’s leader giving New Year’s wishes.
Meilleurs vœux, au fait. pic.twitter.com/a2JOhqJZJM
— Charlie Hebdo (@Charlie_Hebdo_) January 7, 2015
Obama made a public statement regarding the attack.
I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time. France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended. France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my Administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.
TheBlaze reports that press secretary Josh Earnest says U.S. officials have been in close contact with the French after the bloody attack today on the Charlie Hebdo weekly. The French has been loyal allies in the U.S. fight against Islamic State extremists. Earnest also says Washington will work hard to protect Americans at home and abroad. He says, “We obviously are trying to monitor what we consider to be a very important threat, which is the threat of foreign fighters.”
Yahoo reports that online, the declaration “Je Suis Charlie,” or “I Am Charlie,” replaced profile pictures on Facebook while Twitter users showed themselves with the slogan on signs with words of support for the 12 victims who were killed at Charlie Hebdo, a weekly newspaper that had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.
The “Je Suis Charlie” slogan grew into a trending hashtag on Twitter and spread to Instagram, along with an image of a machine gun with the words “Ceci n’est pas une religion,” or “This is not a religion.”
More than 100,000 people gathered around France Wednesday night to mourn for the twelve that passed. Many carried signs that said “I am Charlie” or “Je suis Charlie.” The flags will be flown at half mast for the next three days.