Faces of the victims: Among the journalists killed were (l to r) Charlie Hebdo’s deputy chief editor Bernard Maris and cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Stephane Charbonnier, who is also editor-in-chief, and Bernard Verlhac, also known as Tignous
via Charlie Hebdo gunmen hunt leads anti-terror police to Reims building | Daily Mail Online.
Two brothers and a teenager were last night revealed as the three suspects linked to a deadly terrorist attack on an anti-Islamist newspaper in France.
Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, both from Paris, were identified along with Hamyd Mourad, 18, from the north-eastern city of Reims.
Anti-terrorism officers hunting the terrorists issued photographs of the two brothers describing them as ‘armed and dangerous’.
It came as a source close to the case said Mourad had surrendered to police ‘after seeing his name on social media’ and was arrested at an undisclosed location.
It appeared last night that the hunt for the other men had turned to the Croix Rouge region of Reims, some two hours by car from Paris.
Dozens of members from France’s elite anti-terror unit surrounded an apartment building and there were reports a flat had been searched.
Cherif Kouachi, left, 32, and his brother, Said Kouachi, 34, who are suspected in a deadly attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris. Credit French Police
More via BERLIN: One suspect seized in Paris terror attack; assailants reportedly tied to Syria fighting | Europe | McClatchy DC.
The terror attack Wednesday that killed 12 people at the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper known for running cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad wasn’t a total surprise. Europe, France and even the newspaper have been preparing for such an attack for months.
Europe has been on high alert as anti-terror experts voiced alarm at the thousands of Europeans who’ve gone to Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of the Islamic State and other terror organizations, and who security experts warned would return to their home countries trained and radicalized.
The attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices seemed to bear those worries out. French news outlets reported late Wednesday that police had identified the three suspects; two were brothers of French-Algerian extraction who’d returned from Syria this past summer.
The French website Le Point said the brothers were Said and Cherif Kouachi, 32 and 34, respectively, and that they had been pegged from an identity card left in their abandoned getaway car. The website said a third man, Hamyd Mourad, 18, had served as the getaway driver.
Cherif Kouachi was convicted in 2008 of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s anti-U.S. insurgency and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
According to Le Point, authorities had tracked the assailants to Reims, a city about 80 miles northeast of Paris, where the Agence France Press news agency reported early Thursday that the driver had been taken into custody. There was no word on the whereabouts of the Kouachi brothers, however.
Those reports came after a day that saw the murders of the 10 newspaper staffers, including the publisher and his armed bodyguard, the wounding of five others, and the deaths of two police officers, including one whose execution by a shot to the head was recorded on video as he lay wounded on the ground before the shooters escaped in a black Citroen sedan.
It was the second terror attack on the newspaper offices in recent years. In 2011, the building was firebombed, and in recent weeks the publication had again been threatened, sparking an increase in security.
Mark Singleton, director of the International Center for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague, said the fact that the attack was not unexpected and yet was so deadly was disturbing.
“This office was protected, if somewhat softly,” he said. “But against a professional, planned attack, one lesson from this tragedy is that protecting everyone is beyond the capacity of a state.”
Laurence Nardon, a security expert at the Paris think tank Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, said it appears that French security officials had thwarted a number of planned attacks in recent months.
“Tragically, this one got through,” she said.
Security experts who viewed videos of the attack said the attackers clearly were professionals, likely with combat experience.
“They appear very calm during the attack. They’ve clearly handled weapons before. They know exactly what they’re doing, from the moment they arrive until they flee,” said terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp, the research director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College.
Still, the attackers apparently were unfamiliar with their target, reportedly arriving first at the building where the newspaper’s archives are stored. Once they realized their error, the Agence France Press news agency reported, they moved a few doors down to the weekly’s headquarters.
Inside the newspaper’s offices, the attackers reportedly spoke fluent, unaccented French, as would be expected of French-Algerians. They used variants of Russian AK-47 assault rifles to carry out their attacks.
The toll was heavy: of the 10 slain Charlie Hebdo employees, four were French cultural icons, including Jean Cabut, known as Cabu, the creator of the cartoon character Le Beauf, an uncouth French know-it-all; Georges Wolinski, 80, whose cartoons often illustrated books on humorous topics; Bernard “Tignous” Velhac, and Stéphane Charbonnier, the publisher of Charlie Hebdo who produced cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad under the name Charb. It was Charbonnier who made the decision in 2007 to republish Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that had caused an uproar in much of the Islamic world and who defied warnings in 2012 to publish still more Muhammad drawings that many called pornographic.
Others among the murdered at the newspaper meeting included an economist, a travel writer and a janitor.
The attack coincided with the release of the newest novel by the controversial French author Michel Houellebecq. The novel, “Submission,” portrays a France in 2022 under strict Muslim control, where pork is no longer available at grocers and women cannot walk the streets uncovered. Charlie Hebdo’s cover, released Wednesday morning, was a caricature of “The predictions of Houellebecq,” in which he notes, “In 2015, I will lose my teeth,” and “In 2022, I will keep Ramadan.”
The cover, lampooning a work that in France has been described as a “Christmas gift” to the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and far-right Front National political party, was clear evidence that the newspaper lampoons all perspectives in France.
In September 2012, Charlie Hebdo published controversial cartoons of a naked Muhammad. Charbonnier told RTL radio at the time: “If you start by asking whether or not you have the right or not to draw Muhammad . . . then the next question is, can you put Muslims in the paper? And then, can you put human beings in the paper? In the end, you can’t put anything in, and the handful of extremists who are agitating around the world and in France will have won.”
The terrorist attack is being called the deadliest in French history, which had not seen a significant attack in Paris since a 1995 attack in the subway that killed eight. But the death toll was far smaller than some recent bombings elsewhere, including attacks on trains in Madrid that killed 191 in 2004 and the London transit bombings that killed 52 in 2005. The 2011 attack of anti-Islam radical Anders Breivik in Norway left 77 dead by gunfire.
The assault also reminded European terror experts of a thwarted attack in 2010 on the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the original publishers of the Muhammad cartoons. Police recovered a cache of AK-47s and ammunition and arrested five planners before an assault on the newspaper.
…the White House had previously criticised Charlie Hebdo in 2012 over its Prophet Mohammed cartoon.
At the time it had said that the images would be ‘deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory’.
And of course Barrack Hussein Obama holds the same exact position as Muslims who kill for Islam. Don’t take our word for it, hear Obama himself:
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