Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical magazine known for lampooning Islam and other religions on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people in the most deadly militant attack on French soil in decades.
Police staged a huge manhunt for the attackers who escaped after shooting dead some of France’s top cartoonists at the Charlie Hebdo weekly, as well as two police officers.
One of the assailants was captured on video outside the building shouting “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Greatest) as shots rang out. Another walked over to a police officer lying wounded on the street and shot him point-blank with an assault rifle, before the two calmly climbed into a black car and drove off.
A police union official said the assailants, three in total, remained at liberty and there were fears of further attacks. The official described the scene in the offices as carnage, with a further four wounded fighting for their lives.
Tens of thousands joined impromptu rallies across France in memory of the victims and support for freedom of expression. The government declared the highest state of alert, tightening security at transport hubs, religious sites, media offices and department stores as the search for the assailants got under way.
Some Parisians expressed fears about the effect of the attack on community relations in France, which has Europe’s biggest Muslim population.
“This is bad for everyone – particularly for Muslims despite the fact that Islam is a fine religion. It risks making a bad situation worse,” Cecile Electon, an arts worker who described herself as an atheist, told Reuters at a vigil on Paris’s Place de la Republique attended by 35,000 people.
Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) is well known for courting controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders of all faiths and has published numerous cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad. Jihadists online repeatedly warned that the magazine would pay for its ridicule.
The last tweet on its account mocked Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant Islamic State, which has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria and called for “lone wolf” attacks on French soil.
There was no claim of responsibility. However a witness quoted by 20 Minutes daily newspaper said one of the assailants cried out before getting into his car: “Tell the media that it is al Qaeda in Yemen!”
Supporters of Islamic State and other jihadist groups hailed the attack on Internet sites. Governments throughout Europe have expressed fear that fighters returning from Iraq or Syria could launch attacks in their home countries and may now review their own security.
“Today the French Republic as a whole was the target,” President Francois Hollande said in a prime-time evening TV address, declaring a national day of mourning on Thursday.
An amateur video broadcast by French television stations shows two hooded men all in black outside the building. One of them spots a wounded policeman lying on the ground, hurries over to him and shoots him dead at point-blank range with a rifle.
In another clip on Television station iTELE, the men are heard shouting in French: “We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad.”
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the assailants killed a man at the entrance of the building to force entry. They then headed to the second floor and opened fire on an editorial meeting attended by eight journalists, a policeman tasked with protecting the magazine’s editorial director and a guest.
“What we saw was a massacre. Many of the victims had been executed, most of them with wounds to the head and chest,” Patrick Hertgen, an emergencies services medic called out to treat the injured, told Reuters.
A Reuters reporter saw groups of armed policeman patrolling around department stores in the shopping district and there was an armed gendarme presence outside the Arc de Triomphe.
“There is a possibility of other attacks and other sites are being secured,” police union official Rocco Contento said.
U.S. President Barack Obama described the attack as cowardly and evil, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among European leaders condemning the shooting.
The dead included co-founder Jean “Cabu” Cabut and editor-in-chief Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier. A firebomb attack had already gutted the old headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in November 2011 after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammad on its cover in what it described as a Shariah edition.
France last year reinforced its anti-terrorism laws and was on alert after calls from Islamist militants to attack its citizens and interests in reprisal for French military strikes on Islamist strongholds in the Middle East and Africa.
Dalil Boubakeur, head of the French Council of the Muslim faith (CFCM), condemned an “immensely barbaric act also against democracy and freedom of the press” and said its perpetrators could not claim to be true Muslims.
Rico, a friend of Cabut, who joined the Paris vigil, said his friend had paid for people misunderstanding his humor.
“These attacks are only going to get worse. It’s like a tsunami, it won’t stop and what’s happening today will probably feed the National Front,” he told Reuters.
The far-right National Front has won support on discontent over immigration to France. Some fear Wednesday’s attack could be used to feed anti-Islamic agitation.
National Front leader Marine Le Pen said it was too early to draw political conclusions but added: “The increased terror threat linked to Islamic fundamentalism is a simple fact.”
Germany’s new anti-immigration movement said the attack highlighted the threat of Islamist violence. Merkel has condemned the PEGIDA movement, which drew a record crowd of 18,000 to its latest rally on Monday in Dresden.
The last major attack in Paris was in the mid-1990s when the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) carried out a spate of attacks, including the bombing of a commuter train in 1995 which killed eight people and injured 150. A series of bombings of Parisian shops by Lebanese extremists in 1986 claimed 12 lives.


  1. What is joke to some is death to others. Time and time again these media houses talk about the right to free press while blatantly provoking and disrespecting the Islamic faith with the cartoons of their savior. Not once have Islam depict any of Jesus in any form of satire or otherwise.
    It’s common knowledge for centuries that they don’t depict any kind of imagery for their faith but the Crescent symbol. So, why do Christians, foreigners think they should do so under the blanket of “free press”? There’s a limit and again, What is joke to some is death to others.

  2. you’re talking out of your ass(as usual) that newspaper made cartoons about every religion and top politician in the world. they regularly mock christians and jews but they dont go on shooting sprees. who cares about offending lunatics, people like you are disgusting. nobody should be killed for their opinion.
    This is exactly the same as if somebody who end up on the pink wall was to walk into met house and murder her family cause they were offended. without free speech there is no democracy, so since you sympathize with these savages, gwaan go live in syria or iran where you wont see anything to offend you. not once you say rip to the victims with yuh disgusting self.

    1. I wouldn’t give a flying fig if is mi ass me talking out of…my rass opinion and factual at that.
      Truth is a bitch, what is joke to one is death to another. So because them make joke off a other people religion them right? Mek you never post your opinion from Met post this You run come a act like a rass crusader?

    2. Go nhame shit and stop attempting to drive your point with bullshit deflection bout Met…nastiness when the Kartel post dem did a run you being the shit savage that you are shone through…eat shit! and me say RIP to who me rass feel fi say it to…RIP to the police officer who died outside of the building…go say RIP fi de rest a dem. Me sure dem never send Michael Brown and dead blacks none…the French is never in my favor…gwey.

  3. They received treats in the past so this was nothing new…i guess everything was really a joke to them and they didn’t take anything seriously……what a damn shame..smh

  4. @phantomdunce me defend kartel? as i said talking out of your ass as usual.
    free speech is a must and nobody will get rid of it because their feelings are hurt. maybe if you never spend so much time talking shit, you would do a quick research and see how often muslim newspapers draw cartoons mocking other people’s religion especially the Hindus and their love of cows.
    the fact that we can come on jmg and write anything about anybody is a blessing many people in some countries dont have. how many people you think get offended over here kmt dem must come start shoot after people too? get the hell out of here with your pseudo apologist crap. twelve families mash up and you come a chat f**kry.
    shut up about micheal brown you keyboard revolutionary, that has nothing to do with this case, a france kill him? this newspaper that was attacked was left wing and regularly attacked politicians for discriminating against african immigrants trying to escape war in africa. They have done more for defending blacks than your disgusting ass.

    1. Me see you have a batty fascination :rainbow: let the rainbow lead you home… Yu nah nu manners and that will be you downfall.
      Happy 2015! to those with intellectual sense and aren’t easily lead by chains…ICIP and all.

  5. @Only Child,
    This is far beyond free speech; this is about disrespecting someone’s belief no matter what the religion is they (No One) should not make fun of someone’s belief. As, PhantomPhoenix said, “what is joke to one is death to another”. Some people take their faith very serious and will kill in the name of their God. It does not make it right but it is something that has been happening for hundreds of years. I believe you could have gotten your point across without being disrespectful but hey, you are entitled to your opinion.
    BTW, comparing what the people at the newspaper did to what Met does is comparing apples to oranges. Met run a gossip site (although she provides other information), I do not believe she disrespect anyone, it is more information comes in, she post it and make her opinions just like everyone of us.
    My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

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