News and Views
France: Charlie Hebdo Attack Suspects Killed
Two brothers believed to be behind Wednesday’s attack on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were reportedly killed on Friday, Agence France Presse reports.
Police cornered brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi on Friday inside a printing house in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele near Charles de Gaulle International Airport.
Le Monde notes that there are reports the brothers had taken one person hostage, but there is no confirmation of those reports, nor is information available about that person’s identity.
Police negotiators tried to make contact with the suspects. The Associated Press reports that the brothers told the negotiators they wanted to die as martyrs.
Police also raided a kosher supermarket in Paris where a gunman opened fire and took at least five people hostage.
According to The Associated Press, the shooter threatened to hurt the hostages if police raided the building where the Kouchi brothers were holed up. The assailant is also believed to be a suspect in yesterday’s killing of a policewoman on the southern edge of Paris.
On Wednesday, two masked and heavily armed gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris while the staff was in an editorial meeting, killing 10 journalists and two policemen. Several others were injured in the attack. Witnesses told police that one of the gunmen shouted, “We have avenged the prophet. We killed Charlie Hebdo.”
Hours after the attack, French authorities identified three suspects: Hamyd Mourad, Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi.
Mourad turned himself in to authorities at a police station about 145 miles northeast of Paris on Wednesday night, saying he had seen his own name circulating on social media. Friends of Mourad told French media that he was in school at the time of the attack.
Cherif Kouachi, 32, was convicted in 2008 for his involvement in a Paris-based cell that trafficked French Muslims to fight in Iraq, and he served 18 months of a three-year sentence.
U.S. and European sources close to the investigation said on Thursday they believe Said Kouachi had previously traveled to Yemen to train with the al Qaeda affiliate in that country.