The offices of a Paris weekly newspaper was the site of what officials are calling a terrorist attack, leaving 12 dead, including the publication’s editor. The masked men escaped and the President of France is stating that this is the worst postwar attack by terrorists to date. Reports state that the masked men were shouting in Arabic as they killed methodically and it is also said that they spoke fluent French. The paper, Charlie Hebdo, is a weekly publication whose depictions of satirical religious and political figures has been threatened before and was firebombed as recently as 2011.
Fear is the main emotion in France and other European countries as attacks and threats from jihadis seem to be a way of life there now. Many believe the jihadis are there to escape the Syria/Iraq conflicts and are the ones behind the recent attacks in France. The President of France Francois Hollande has stated that these are indeed terrorist attacks and the country has elevated their security alerts and have been taking measures to protect many potential targets from the current terrorist actions. Hollande planned a teleconference to address the devastation for later in the week and maintains this is terrorist activity even though no one has come forward to take responsiblity, although the State group of militant Islamics are praising whomever may have done this.
Although the building was secured and required a pass-code to enter, the black clad gunmen forced a cartoonist who was with her daughter to open the door for them. Police spokesman Christophe Crepin stated that the gunmen went to the editor first and killed him and his body-guard. It is said that as they left the building they shot at police and a video taken by a person in the home across the street and that video was viewed by officials. This same man stated to police that they seemed well-trained and methodical and he almost mistook them for military.
The death toll was a devastating eight writers, two officers and a guest at the paper, according to Francois Molins, a prosecutor in Paris. The men shouted in French that they killed Charlie Hebdo and avenged their prophet. Many witnesses heard the gunmen shouting many things as they took down people as a matter of business, with precision and heartless cruelty. Security analysts reviewed any and all videos of the attack and concluded that they appeared to be trained in the art of assassination.
Al-Qaida has tweeted to the Associated Press that they do not know who is responsible but that they find the attacks “inspiring.” Social media is alive with supporters of the militants praising the brazen attack, some even tweeting that the attack was well deserved. The United States has called France one of their oldest allies and President Barack Obama has pledged his support in the efforts to find the gunman and groups responsible. The President of the French mosques has come out to condemn the brutal acts that have occurred. He is urging Muslims and Christians alike to come together and present a united presence against the type of rogue terrorism like this attack on the Paris Weekly paper that left 12 dead.
By Kristi Cereska