The Charlie Hebdo Shooting / The Paris Terrorists Attacks / The Survivor’s Edition
Body count: 17 civilians + 3 terrorists were killed
(Updated: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17 January and 3 February 2015)
Followed by the Copenhagen terror attacks
Day One – Paris, January 7, 2015
12 killed in terrorist shooting at offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo
• Gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine known for lampooning Islam and other religions today, 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! 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 three assailants 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.
• 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 Cabu (Jean Cabut), editor-in-chief Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), and cartoonists Honoré (Philippe Honoré), Tignous (Bernard Verlhac) and Wolinski (Georges David Wolinski).
Day Two – Villers-Cotterêts, January 8, 2015
Manhunt for Saïd and Cherif Kouachi – A second shooting in Montrouge
List of the 12 killed yesterday
• Stéphane Charbonnier, editor and cartoonist
• Jean Cabut, cartoonist
• Bernard Verlhac, cartoonist
• Philippe Honoré, cartoonist
• Bernard Maris, economist
• Elsa Cayat, psychoanalyst and columnist
• Mustapha Ourrad, copy editor
• Michel Renaud, founder of the Carnet de Voyage Festival
• Fréderic Boisseau, caretaker
• Ahmed Merabet, policeman
• Franck Brinsolaro, brigadier and police bodyguard
• A huge police operation is under way north-east of Paris in the search for the gunmen in yesterday’s attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine. The village of Longport has been sealed off, with house-to-house searches for the two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi. Heavily armed anti-terrorism police is searching areas near the town of Villers-Cotterêts (80 km outside Paris), where the two men reportedly robbed a petrol station. The men, still armed, headed on foot into the vast Forêt de Retz that measures 32.000 acres, an area roughly the size of Paris.
• The Paris terror attack drew condemnation around the world and French President François Hollande declared a national day of mourning. At midday, a minute’s silence was observed across the country, with quiet descending on public squares, schools and on Metro trains. France’s Muslim Council called on all French Muslims to join the minute of silence and said it was issuing a call for all Imams in all of France’s mosques to condemn violence and terrorism wherever it comes from in the strongest possible way. The Eiffel Tower went dark at 8pm to honor those who lost their lives.
• Police says there is no evidence of a link between the Charlie Hebdo attack and a second gun attack this morning, in which Clarissa Jean-Philippe, a municipal police officer in Montrouge was gunned down. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 88.000 police officers and soldiers had been deployed across France since the attack.
• In the wake of yesterday’s terrorist attack, Charlie Hebdo magazine will publish one million copies next week, its biggest print run ever, in a gesture of defiance and grief.
Day Three – Dammartin-en-Goële & Paris Porte de Vincennes, January 9, 2015
Two police raids, Three terrorists killed, Four hostages murdered
• Today the French Police finally found Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, wanted for murdering 12 people on Wednesday, and cornered them in a printing factory in Dammartin-en-Goële (35 km north of Paris, near Charles de Gaulle airport). The brothers, who came out firing, have been killed and their hostage, a 26-year-old male, was freed safely.
• Before the raid, Cherif Kouachi told BFM TV station that he was sent by Al Qaeda in Yemen and had been financed by the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. airstrike in 2011. Cherif Kouachi had been convicted in France of terrorism charges in 2008 for trying to join up with fighters battling in Iraq. Said Kouachi had also traveled to Yemen in 2011 and had direct contact with an Al Qaeda training camp. Both were on a U.S. no-fly list.
• French special forces GIGN (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group), RAID (Research, Assistance, Intervention, Deterrence) and BRI (Research and Intervention Brigades or Anti-Gang Brigades) also stormed a kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes (Paris), trading fire with jihadist Amedy Coulibaly after standoffs that lasted for hours. The gunman held civilians captive and demanded police allow the Kouachi brothers go free. Coulibaly and his accomplice Hayat Boumeddiene (still at large) killed police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe yesterday in Montrouge. Coulibaly was shot by the tactical unit, police managed to free more than a dozen from the grocery, but four hostages were killed before police commandos staged their assault.
• Prosecutor François Molins says that Coulibaly and his girlfriend spoke more than 500 times to the Kouachi brothers over the phone. Coulibaly had known Cherif Kouachi since 2010, when they both joined a plot to aid a prison escape, they were arrested and spent time in jail together. The man they were accused of trying to free from prison was Algerian Islamist Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, one of those behind the 1995 Paris Métro and RER bombings that killed eight people and wounded 120.
• President François Hollande addressed the nation again tonight, congratulating police forces and saying the nation must not give in to such a terrifying antisemitic attack like the one on the kosher grocery. We are a free nation that does not give in. We carry an ideal that is greater than us.
• British prime minister David Cameron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and EU President Donald Tusk will join François Hollande at a unity rally in Paris on Sunday. President Obama said Paris’ spirit of freedom will endure forever, long after the scourge of terrorism is banished from this world.
Day Four – France, January 10, 2015
• Names of yesterday’s four victims: Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and François-Michel Saada.
• Hayat Boumeddiene is still at large, the hunt for Amedy Coulibaly’s wife continues. 16 people have been arrested since the attacks began on Wednesday, five of whom remain in custody as police seek witnesses and evidence.
• The Grand Synagogue of Paris was closed during Friday’s terror attacks and did not reopen for Shabbat services, marking the first time the synagogue has not held services since World War II.
• The Kouachi brothers had a loaded M82 rocket launcher, two Kalashnikov machine guns and two automatic pistols. Coulibaly had a Kalashnikov too, and a Skorpion military pistol.
• Some 500 extra police troops are being deployed around Paris. France will remain on its highest state of alert for the next weeks. Security will be increased for the massive unity march in Paris on Sunday. Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will take part in the rally.
• The hackers group Anonymous declared war on Islamic extremists, and promised to take revenge for the Paris attacks. They said on YouTube they would track down websites and social media networks linked to terrorists, and take them down.
• The 72nd Golden Globes ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Hollywood stars, among them George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin, Helen Mirren, Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson, Kathy Bates, Patricia Arquette, Amy Adams, Jared Leto, Tchecky Karyo, producer Harvey Weinstein and composer Alexandre Desplat showed their support for the 17 murdered, by holding up Je Suis Charlie signs.
Day Five – Paris, January 11, 2015
La marche républicaine / The unity rally
• France’s Interior Ministry said the unity rally against terrorism was possibly the largest demonstration in France’s history. French media estimate up to 3.7 million attended the republican march (in Paris and across France), but a precise account is impossible given the enormity of the turnout.
• Alphabetical list of some of the dignitaries who attended the rally:
- Abdullah Bin Hamad al Khalifa, Prince of Bahrain
- Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates
- Abdullah II and Rania, King and Queen of Jordan
- Ahmet Davutoğlu , PM of Turkey
- Alexander Stubb, PM of Finland
- Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon
- Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
- Antonis Samaras, PM of Greece
- Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo
- Avigdor Lieberman, Foreign Minister of Israel
- Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Benjamin Netanyahu, PM of Israel
- Bohuslav Sobotka, PM of the Czech Republic
- Boyko Borisov, PM of Bulgaria
- Charles Michel, PM of Belgium
- David Cameron, PM of the United Kingdom
- Donald Tusk, President of the European Council
- Edi Rama, PM of Albania
- Enda Kenny, PM of Ireland
- Erna Solberg, PM of Norway
- Ewa Kopacz, PM of Poland
- François Hollande, President of France
- Helle Thorning Schmidt, PM of Denmark
- Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali
- Irakli Garibashvili, PM of Georgia
- Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
- Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General
- Joseph Muscat, PM of Malta
- Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Foreign Minister of Bahrain
- Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania
- Laimdota Straujuma, PM of Latvia
- Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger
- Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestine
- Manuel Valls, PM of France
- Mariano Rajoy, PM of Spain
- Mark Rutte, PM of the Netherlands
- Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
- Matteo Renzi, PM of Italy
- Mehdi Jomaa, PM of Tunisia
- Miro Cerar, PM of Slovenia
- Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France
- Pedro Passos Coelho, PM of Portugal
- Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine
- Ramtane Lamamra, Foreign Minister of Algeria
- Robert Fico, PM of Slovakia
- Sebastian Kurz, Foreign Minister of Austria
- Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia
- Simonetta Sommaruga, President of Switzerland
- Stefan Löfven, PM of Sweden
- Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety of Canada
- Viktor Orbán, PM of Hungary
- Xavier Bettel, PM of Luxembourg
- Yayi Boni, President of Benin
- Zoran Milanović, PM of Croatia
• U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder attended the pre-march summit, but was not seen at the rally. Neither Vice President Joe Biden, nor Secretary of State John Kerry join the gathering.
• Similar gatherings were held in London, Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Beirut, Ramallah, New York, Tokyo, Sydney and Jerusalem.
• Earlier today, a video emerged showing terrorist Amedy Coulibaly defending the atrocities as completely legitimate and swearing allegiance to Islamic State. His girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene remains at large, but police source say that she may have fled to Syria before the three terror attacks.
January 14, 2015 – The first issue published since the attacks (3 million copies)
We finally got our copy this evening (Jan. 16), here are the pictures:
January 16, 2015 – Anti-French protests in Africa, Asia and Middle East
Four dead in Niger – Burnt French flags – Censorship
• Thousands of Muslims demonstrated across the world on Friday, after the publication of a new Prophet Mohammed cartoon by Charlie Hebdo.
• In Niger, four people were killed and 45 injured during violent protests in Zinder. Angry demonstrators ransacked three churches and torched the French cultural centre.
• In Pakistan, thousands of protesters held rallies in Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore and Quetta, while dozens of activists in Multan burnt the French flag. Among the demonstrators were followers of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charitable wing of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group which masterminded the attacks on Mumbai in 2008.
• In Jordan, around 2500 protesters set off from Al-Husseini mosque in Ammann, under tight security, holding banners that read insulting the prophet is global terrorism.
• In Algeria, police clashed with demonstrators in Algiers after rioting broke out at the end of the protest. Several officers were injured as small groups of protesters hurled rocks, fireworks and bottles at security forces.
• Other rallies were held in Dakar, Bamako, Niamey, Istanbul, Karthoum, Tripoli, Nouakchott, Baddawi and Jerusalem.
• Europe is on high alert following anti-terror raids and arrests of suspected Islamist militants. More than 20 people have been arrested in Belgium, France and Germany.
• Charlie Hebdo is an atheist, secularist and democratic newspaper. The magazine made a habit of ridiculing radicals and extremists, Christians, Jews and Muslims. French secularism (laïcité) is based on the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State. Blasphemy laws do exist in eight EU countries, but not in France.
• Pope Francis said “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression, there are limits.” [ A quote that leaves us speechless…] The Vatican later said that it did not mean justifying the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
• Religious censhorship and self-censorship is also on the rise in Western media. Many of them refused to reprint, or show the Charlie Hebdo cartoons:
- The New York Times
- The Daily Telegraph
- The Telegraph
- Sky News
- The Globe and Mail
- Toronto Star
• More than 100 movie theaters across France will screen C’est dur d’être aimé par des cons (It’s Hard to Be Loved by Jerks), a documentary directed by Daniel Leconte on Charlie Hebdo’s 2007 trial for public offense in an effort to support the newspaper and defend freedom of speech:
February 3, 2015 – French soldiers stabbed on patrol (Nice, France)
Three French soldiers on anti-terror patrol were stabbed outside the offices of a Jewish community center in Nice, France. None of the soldiers were seriously hurt. Their attacker was seized by two tram workers. French police said the man was called Moussa Coulibaly, 31 – the same surname as Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris on 9 January.
Since then, as part of new security measures, 10.500 soldiers have been deployed in front of sensitive sites, including synagogues, mosques and Jewish schools.