What We Know So Far
- A terrorist attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has left 12 dead — including four of France's most famous cartoonists — and 11 wounded.
- Two of three suspected assailants remained at large overnight, although reports suggest they were spotted on Thursday morning in Aisne, northern France.
- French police released photos of two suspects, brothers Said Kouachi, 32, and Cherif Kouachi, 34, who are both French nationals. Kouachi's ID has been recovered from the car the suspects left.
- Two people were shot in a gun attack in southern Paris on Thursday morning. One of them, a policewoman, died. It is not clear if the attack was related to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and the suspect is still at large.
- Charlie Hebdo has a history of satirizing many religions, including Islam. In 2011, it was firebombed after running a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammed.
- The assailants shouted "Allahu akbar" while storming the newspaper's offices. They yelled that they were avenging the prophet during the attack.
- President François Hollande called the attack "an exceptional act of barbarism."
The silence was observed at Agence France-Presse's Paris offices.
And on the Paris metro.
At the Assemblee Nationale.
The next edition of Charlie Hebdo will come out next week, despite yesterday's attack, AFP said, citing the publication's editorialist.
Sources have told AFP that the two brothers suspected of conducting the Charlie Hebdo attack were located in Aisne, northern France, on Thursday morning. They are armed.
Aisne is shown in relation to Paris on this map, shaded light pink.
AP is reporting that a police union official has confirmed that the officer shot in southern Paris Thursday morning has now died.
The identity card of Charlie Hebdo shooting suspect Said Kouachi has been found in a car left by two of the suspects.
The above image was obtained by AFP from a French police source, the BBC said.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said there appears to be only one shooter in Thursday's attack in southern Paris, contradicting earlier reports. From AFP:
"The gunman is still on the run, said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve -- who rushed to the scene at Malakoff just south of the city -- contradicting information given earlier by a source close to the case, who said the suspect had been detained."
Cazeneuve said it is only the policewoman who is fighting for her life.
AFP has reported that a shooter from Thursday morning's attack in southern Paris has been arrested.
Police said two people are in a critical condition: a policewoman and a city employee, AFP reported.
They were fired on with an automatic rifle. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has rushed to the scene of the shooting near Porte de Chatillon.
Cazeneuve said another shooter is on the run.
French TV station BMFTV is reporting that shots have been fired at police officers near Porte de Châtillon Metro station in the south of Paris. It is not clear if the incident is related to yesterday's attacks.
At least one police officer has been injured. Some reports suggest he escaped in the Metro.
The incident is reported to have involved a white Renault Clio car.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in an interview Thursday with RTL radio that there were "several arrests" overnight in the search for the two suspects in the Paris attack.
Valls said authorities had released photos of the two suspects in hopes witnesses would come forward and that preventing another attack "is our main concern." Valls also said there had been several detentions overnight during the manhunt.
Hamyd Mourad, the youngest suspect in the attack, drove the getaway car, French authorities told the New York Times.
Mourad, 18, turned himself in Wednesday night at a police station in northern France. Authorities said Mourad is a French Muslim of North African descent, and the news magazine Le Point reported that he was unemployed.
Le Point also said police had identified the suspects after one of them left his identification papers in the getaway vehicle.
The oldest of the two brothers, Cherif Kouachi, 34, has been under the watch of authorities since he was arrested in 2005 in connection to a case related to a jihadi preacher.
Jihadi preacher Farid Benyettou recruited Cherif, who was 22 at the time, and he was later detained by French authorities as he prepared to fly to Syria on his way to Iraq, the Times reported.
At trial in 2008, Cherif said he had dreamed of attacking Jewish targets in France, but had been convinced by Benyettou that fighting the U.S. in Iraq was a better outlet for his jihad intentions.
His trial lawyer, Vincent Ollivier, said Cherif described himself as an "occasional Muslim," enjoying rap music and smoking marijuana in his free time.
Libération, a French newspaper, said Cherif's parents were Algerian immigrants, but that he was raised in foster care in western France.
Cherif trained as a fitness instructor, before moving to Paris, where he lived in the home of a Islam convert with his brother Said. He held several low-paying jobs in Paris, including pizza delivery and fishmonger.
Police are asking the public's help in seeking the two outstanding suspects, Cherif and Said Kouachi.
Le Monde reported that 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, who turned himself in to police, has not been charged with a crime. He is a relative of the brothers, the report said.
The youngest of the three suspects in the attack has surrendered to police, multiple news outlets reported.
The 18-year-old turned himself in to police in northeast France, Reuters reported.
An official at the Paris prosecutor's office said Hamyd Mourad surrendered at a police station in Charleville-Mézières at around midnight local time.
According to a report from BFMTV, the teen decided to go to police after seeing his name circulated in social media.
Le Monde is reporting that no arrests have taken place, citing police sources.
"Many rumors are circulating about the supposed detention of suspects in Reims," the newspaper reported. "These are false reports. Police sources contacted by Le Monde say that no arrests have taken place at this time."
NBC News walks back report one suspect is dead and two others are in custody.
NBC News has walked back its report that French police had apprehended two of the three suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting, and that the third suspect had been killed.
In a follow-up, NBC News reporter Pete Williams wrote that "[a]fter a long day of rapidly changing information, US counterterrorism officials said Wednesday night that they cannot be certain what the status is of the three suspects in the Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine."
Williams added that the unnamed U.S. officials cited in his earlier report "later said the information that was the basis of that account could not be confirmed."
NBC News later said in a statement the erroneous report came from two U.S. officials.
"NBC News issued an earlier report based on intelligence from two consistently reliable U.S. counterterrorism officials in different government agencies," a spokesperson said. "As soon as it became evident that our sources doubted their information, we immediately updated our reporting across all platforms and continue to do so as this fast-moving story unfolds."
Here are the earlier tweets from NBC:
Charles-Henry Boudet, a journalist with France 3, has been posting from Reims, where an anti-terrorism raid is reportedly underway.
French police are conducting searches in Charleville, near the border with Germany.
French police are conducting searches in Charleville, a small city in north-eastern France that is the reported hometown of Hamyd Mourad, the youngest suspect, Le Monde reported.
Searches are also being conducted in Paris' 19th arrondissement, the newspaper reported.
The names of the three suspects, who remain at large, have been leaked.
Two unnamed French officials have identified the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting as Said Kouachi, Cherif Kouachi, and Hamyd Mourad, the Associated Press reported.
The two Kouachis are both French nationals in their early thirties, the AP reported. The two Frenchmen are brothers, ABC News reported.
The third suspect, Mouran, is 18 years old, the AP reported. His nationality was not immediately clear.
One of the officials told the AP that the suspects are connected to a terror network in Yemen. Cherif Kouachi was sentenced to a year and a half in prison in 2008, after he was charged with providing assistance to fighters trying to join the Iraqi insurgency, the AP reported.
Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman told CNN that no arrests have been made in connection to the shooting, contrary to previous media reports.
Over 3,000 French police officers and soldiers are now searching for the three terror suspects.
The French Ministry of the Interior said that 16 squadrons of riot control forces and national police have been deployed around Paris and it surrounding town, Le Monde reported.
At least 350 soldiers and other defense personnel are expected to join the search on Thursday morning, the newspaper added.
Police appear to be closing in on the three suspects, according to media reports:
The three suspects in the shooting of the Charlie Hebdo shooting have been identified, Le Monde reported, but French authorities have not released their names.
Police searched at least three apartments in Pantin, Gennevilliers, and Champigny-sur-Marne, lower-income suburbs just outside the Paris city limits, Le Parisien reported.
The third suspect is reportedly from Reims, according to Reuters.
The Vatican released this statement:
The pope expresses firm condemnation for the attempt in the office of the weekly satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" that cost the lives of twelve people. As said in a statement by father Federico Lombardi, director of the press room of the Holy See.
The Holy Father expresses the firmest condemnation for the attack that marred this morning in the city of Paris with a high number of victims, sowing death, throwing into dismay the entirety of French society, deeply upsetting all people who love peace, far outside the confines of France.
The Pope is praying for those suffering and hurt and for the families of the dead and exhorts everyone to oppose by any means efforts to spread hate and any form of violence, physical and moral, that destroys human life, violates human dignity, radically undermines the fundamental good of peaceful coexistence between individuals and peoples, nonwithstanding differences of nationality, religion and culture.
Whatever the motivation, homicidal violence is abominable, it is never justifiable, the life and dignity of everyone is guaranteed and protected with determination, any incitement of hate should be rejected, respect for the other should be cultivated.
The pope expresses his closeness to, his spiritual solidarity and his support for everyone who, based on their different responsibilities, continue to work diligently for peace, justice and the law, for healing the deep wounds and causes of hate, in this hurtful and dramatic moment in France and every part of the world marked by tension and violence.
Profiles of some of the victims — including the four cartoonists and Bernard Maris and Michel Renaud — can be found here.
The daughter of Georges Wolinski, one of the murdered cartoonists, posted a picture of her father's empty chair to Instagram.
Hollande condemned the attackers as cowards and called on French citizens to unite to fight against the extremists.
"Our own best weapon is our unity," he said. He later added: "We must unite against this and we will win."
French President François Hollande has declared Thursday to be a day of mourning in the country after the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
Hollande said that the nation would observe a moment of silence Thursday and flags would be lowered at government buildings for the next couple of days.
Former director of Charlie Hebdo says he “lost all my friends.”
Philippe Val, former director of Charlie Hebdo, spoke about the newspaper and his former colleagues in an interview on the France Inter radio station.
"They were so lively, they cared so much about bringing joy to people, about making them laugh," he said. "They cared so much about giving people generous thoughts. They were such good people. They were the best among us, obviously, like all people who make others laugh, like all people who are for freedom."
He went on to call Cabu "a genius, a genius of goodness," and stated that terror cannot freedom of expression.
"We can't let the silence settle … We need to gather against this terror. Terror cannot destroy the joy to live," he said.
Here are Obama's full remarks:
I've reached out to President Hollande of France and hope to have the opportunity to talk to him today. But I thought it was appropriate for me to express my deepest sympathies to the people of Paris and the people of France for the terrible terrorist attack that took place earlier today.
I think that all of us recognize that France is one of our oldest allies, our strongest allies. They have been with us at every moment when we've -- from 9/11 on, in dealing with some of the terrorist organizations around the world that threaten us. For us to see the kind of cowardly evil attacks that took place today I think reinforces once again why it's so important for us to stand in solidarity with them, just as they stand in solidarity with us.
The fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom -- of speech and freedom of the press. But the one thing that I'm very confident about is that the values that we share with the French people, a belief -- a universal belief in the freedom of expression, is something that can't be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.
And so our counterterrorism cooperation with France is excellent. We will provide them with every bit of assistance that we can going forward. I think it's going to be important for us to make sure that we recognize these kinds of attacks can happen anywhere in the world. And one of the things I'll be discussing with Secretary Kerry today is to make sure that we remain vigilant not just with respect to Americans living in Paris, but Americans living in Europe and in the Middle East and other parts of the world, and making sure that we stay vigilant in trying to protect them -- and to hunt down and bring the perpetrators of this specific act to justice, and to roll up the networks that help to advance these kinds of plots.
In the end, though, the most important thing I want to say is that our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who've been lost in France, and with the people of Paris and the people of France. What that beautiful city represents -- the culture and the civilization that is so central to our imaginations -- that's going to endure. And those who carry out senseless attacks against innocent civilians, ultimately they'll be forgotten. And we will stand with the people of France through this very, very difficult time.
Thank you very much, everybody.
Obama added that U.S. authorities would remain vigilant to protect the safety of Americans in France, Europe, and elsewhere abroad in the face of terror threats.
President Obama in a press briefing reinforced the U.S.’s commitment to the people of France, calling the massacre an “attack on our freedom.”
The president noted that France is one of the U.S.'s oldest allies, saying that "they have been with us at every moment from 9/11 on."
"For us to see the kind of cowardly, evil attacks that happened today reinforces that we need to stand in solidarity with them as they have stood in solidarity with us," he said.
Paris Prosecutor François Molins said in a press briefing that authorities believe at least two gunmen were involved in the attack that killed 12 and injured 11, four seriously.
Molins confirmed previous reports that witnesses said the attackers shouted "Allahu Akbar" and the "Prophet has been avenged" as they gunned down their victims in the editing suite of the newspaper.
Molins said after the attack, the suspects headed out onto a public road and encountered police three separate times.
The suspects exchanged gunfire with the police and some were injured. In the third confrontation, the gunmen shot one of the officers "to the ground."
The suspects then crashed their car into another vehicle, he said. They abandoned their vehicle, reported to be a black Citroen.
Molins also issued a public plea for any witnesses of the attack to come forward to help with the investigation.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron spoke out about the attack in a joint press appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"Everyone should combine to condemn this act," he said.
French national police, riot control forces, and military are deployed in Paris as the manhunt for the gunmen continues.
More than 500 riot control forces and national police, as well as scores of local cops, have been deployed across Paris, where the gunmen remain at large, Le Monde reported.
Manuel Valls, the French prime minister, has declared a crisis state in the country and ceded control of operations to Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve, according to a statement from the Ministry of the Interior.
Cazanueve, whose ministry is in charge of the Gendarmerie, the French national police force, will coordinate efforts to locate the three suspects in the shooting at Charlie Hebdo.
"The entirety of our local and national police services have been mobilized," the statement from the ministry of the interior read. "Surveillance has been increased in train stations, tourist attractions, places of worship, and newsrooms. Riot Control Forces, the military, and the national police have all been deployed alongside local forces."
"Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms."
Founded in 1969, Charlie Hebdo has paid a heavy price for its championing of the freedom to mock any group.
Bernard Maris, known as “Uncle Bernard” to readers of Charlie Hebdo, was killed in the attack.
Maris, 68, was a famous left-wing economist who wrote about finance and economics and was the magazine's deputy editor. He was from Toulouse, a southwestern region of France, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Toulouse. He was also the author of L'Enfant qui voulait etre muet ("The Boy Who Wanted to Be Silent").
"I am heartbroken to have lost a friend made of respect, erudition and kindness," Eric Le Boucher wrote for Slate France. "By killing him, his murderers wanted to kill respect, erudition, and kindness."
From the New York City Police Department:
New York City has the most sophisticated counterterrorism capability in the U.S. There are standing contingency plans in place to adjust police deployments based on any unfolding situation in the world. That includes how we use and where we position and deploy specialized police resources. The NYPD has a Detective stationed in Paris who has been coordinating with NYPD and we will continue to closely monitor the situation.
John J. Miller
Deputy Commissioner Intelligence and Counterterrorism
French cartoonists Tignous, Francois Cavanna, Wolinski, and Cabu pose at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Tignous, Wolinski, and Cabu were killed Wednesday.
Here's an update:
Security forces have launched a massive manhunt in search for the three gunman suspected in the attack, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said according to the Associated Press.
CNN reported that the country has mobilized every force at its disposal including its military. Local law enforcement have been instructed to be on high alert.
Meanwhile, police have impounded a black Citroen that resembles a getaway vehicle used by the gunmen in the shooting, CNN reported.
Video from CNN's affiliate in Paris shows the car being taken from an area in the northeastern section of the city.
This is Wolinski's last cartoon, due to be published in Paris Match. It pokes fun at François Hollande's love life and how bad the economic crisis is. The last line says, “Am I on the right track? I'll only know it in the end..."
“That is what the extremists fear the most,” Kerry said. “They may wield weapons but we in France and the U.S. wield something that is much more powerful.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the attack “horrific” and “murderous” in a press conference, saying that the extremists who perpetuated the attack will not succeed in suppressing free speech.
"The freedom of expression that [Charlie Hebdo] represented is not able to be killed by this act of terror, on the contrary it will never be eradicated by an act of terror," Kerry said.
Kerry added that "no country knows better than France that freedom has a price," since France was the birthplace of democracy. He said the U.S. stands with France in "solidarity" in defense of freedom.
These details from AP:
The staff was in an editorial meeting and the gunmen headed straight for the paper's editor, Stephane Charbonnier — widely known by his pen name Charb — killing him and his police bodyguard, said Christophe Crepin, a police union spokesman on the scene. Minutes later, two men strolled out to a black car waiting below, calmly firing on a police officer, with one gunman shooting him in the head as he writhed on the ground.
Ten journalists were killed and two police, Crepin said, one of them assigned as Charb's bodyguard and another who had arrived on the scene on a mountain bike.
"Hey! We avenged the Prophet Muhammed! We killed Charlie Hebdo," one of the men shouted, according to a video filmed from a nearby building and broadcast on French television. Other video images showed two gunmen in black at a crossroads who appeared to fire down one of the streets. A cry of "Allahu akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great" — could be heard among the gunshots.
From the U.S. Embassy in Paris:
Despite misleading press reports, there are no plans to close or limit access to the U.S. Embassy in Paris or other diplomatic facilities in France. We are open for business as usual.
Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier, aka Charb, was on the "Wanted: dead or alive" list in the March 1, 2013, edition of al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine:
This video — WARNING: disturbing content — depicts two of the masked gunman shooting another person, reportedly a police officer, before getting in a car and fleeing on the streets of Paris.
In 2012, the White House questioned the judgment of publishing a cartoon featuring the Prophet Muhammad, but stood by "freedom of expression."
In Charlie Hebdo's last edition, Charb published this cartoon depicting a terrorist. "Still no attack in France," says the title. "Wait!" says the man on the drawing. "We have until the end of January to give our best wishes."
The masked gunmen shouted "Allahu akbar!" when storming the offices, the AP reported. They escaped in a getaway car, and then switched to another, the agency said.
This is France's deadliest terror attack in at least two decades, the AP reported.
PARIS (AP) — France's top security official confirms three gunmen carried out deadly attack on French paper.
Statement from former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, reported in Le Monde:
This attack is a national tragedy. This is a direct, savage attack on one of our most cherished republican principles: freedom of expression.
Our democracy has been attacked. We must defend it without any weakness. Absolute resoluteness is the only possible response.
Our nation is in mourning, struck in the heart, the Republic must gather assemble together. I call on all French people to reject the temptation of stereotyping.
Statement from U.S. President Barack Obama:
I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time. France is America's oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world.
Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended. France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.
France's far-right, anti-immigration party Front National has issued a statement on the attack:
"The Front National and [far-right political coalition] the Rassemblement Bleu Marine are horrified at the revolting attack committed in the middle of Paris, at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.
"They express their sadness for the victims, and would like to offer their condolences to the families of the victims."
French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira looked to be in shock as she visited the scene of the attack.
From BuzzFeed News' Anais Bordages, who is on the scene:
Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, who is considered the spokesperson of the French Muslim community, said: "I want to denounce the horror and the unspeakable and show our compassion. We condemn what just [happened] in the name of all Muslims. This is an act of war in the middle of Paris. "
Cartoonist Coco, who works for Charlie Hebdo, witnessed the attack, according to Le Figaro, citing l'Humanité:
I was out to get my daughter from kindergarden, when I got to the door of the paper's building, two armed and hooded men brutally threatened us. They wanted to get in and get up. I typed the code. They shot Wolinski, Cabu (the cartoonists who died in the attack...). It lasted for five minutes... I had taken refuge under a desk... they spoke French perfectly... they claimed they were from al-Qaeda.