Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attacks Fail to Silence Free Speech

By Dialogo
January 13, 2015




French security forces ended three days of terror and bloodshed on January 9 when they killed three terrorists who had killed 17 people in a series of attacks.

The violence began on January, 7, when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, 34 and 32 respectively, used AK-47 assault rifles to storm the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo
.

The two brothers fatally shot 12 people, including Editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier; four cartoonists; two columnists; a copy editor; a police officer; and a bodyguard who had been assigned to Charb after he had received death threats from radical Muslims for publishing cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad and ridiculing Islam. According to witnesses, the killers shouted “Allahu akbar!”, an Islamic phrase for “God is great,” as they carried out the attack. The two fled in a vehicle and later carjacked a motorist.

The mass killing sparked a huge manhunt, as 80,000 Soldiers and police officers launched a manhunt for the two brothers. The younger brother, Cherif, reportedly had links to the terrorist group al-Qaeda in Yemen.

The following day, January 8, a lone gunman fatally shot a female police officer south of Paris. That killing was allegedly committed by Amedy Coulibaly, 32, another Islamic extremist, according to French law enforcement authorities.

A dramatic and bloody ending


On January 9, the wave of violence came to a bloody and dramatic end.

Following a police chase, French security forces cornered the Kouachi brothers inside a printing plant in the town of Dammartin-en-Goële, northeast of Paris. Both were killed during a furious gun battle with French security forces.

Meanwhile, Coulibaly took about 15 people hostage at a Jewish supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood in Paris. Police stormed the Jewish supermarket, killing him and rescuing most of the hostages, who fled out of the supermarket as police stormed in.

A history of violence


Before security forces killed him, Cherif told BFMTV that he had trained with al Qaeda in Yemen. In that country, he said, he had met Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim who had been the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen until a U.S. drone strike killed him in 2011.

In 2008, a French court sentenced the younger Kouachi to three years in prison for participating in a group which recruited jihadist fighters to go to war in Iraq. He had been arrested in 2005, when he was 22, just before he and another man were about to go to Syria and then Iraq to join the fighting.

The Kouachi brothers were born in France to Algerian parents.

Coulibaly, meanwhile, had told BFMTV in a phone interview that he was affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He was close to Cherif Kouachi, according to a Western intelligence source, and had been previously arrested by French police in possession of 240 rounds of ammunition for a Kalashnikov rifle.

Leaders offer condolences, support


Meanwhile, leaders from throughout the world, including Latin America, spoke in support of the French people and against terrorism. And on January 11, as many as 1.6 million people gathered in Paris to march in solidarity in support of freedom of speech and against Islamic terrorism.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called the attack on Charlie Hebdo “intolerable.”

“I wish to extend my condolences to the families of the victims during this time of pain and suffering,” Rousseff’s said. “I also want extend our government's solidarity to the French people on behalf of the entire Brazilian nation.”

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry expressed the country’s condolences and reiterated “its steadfast commitment to peace and the fight against terrorism in all its forms, and the political will and determination to continue strengthening international cooperation mechanisms, observing the laws and respecting human rights, as the only way of democratic societies to tackle this scourge.”

The Colombian government also denounced the terrorist attacks and called France “a partner and friend of Colombia.”

The Mexican government reiterated its stance that it rejects all forms of terrorism and sent its condolences to the French people, their government and the victims’ families.

“Mexico condemns the attack on the Charlie
Hebdo
weekly and expresses its condolences to society and the Government of France,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted.

France is one of the strongest allies of the United States, U.S. President Barack Obama said. He pledged to support France, a nation that has been at his country’s side “every moment” since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks killed about 3,000 people in New York City, Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania.

“For us to see the kind of cowardly evil attacks that took place, 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,” Obama told reporters.

The violence in Frances showed that terrorist attacks can occur anywhere in the world, the president said.

“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,” he told reporters. “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.”



French security forces ended three days of terror and bloodshed on January 9 when they killed three terrorists who had killed 17 people in a series of attacks.

The violence began on January, 7, when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, 34 and 32 respectively, used AK-47 assault rifles to storm the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo
.

The two brothers fatally shot 12 people, including Editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier; four cartoonists; two columnists; a copy editor; a police officer; and a bodyguard who had been assigned to Charb after he had received death threats from radical Muslims for publishing cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad and ridiculing Islam. According to witnesses, the killers shouted “Allahu akbar!”, an Islamic phrase for “God is great,” as they carried out the attack. The two fled in a vehicle and later carjacked a motorist.

The mass killing sparked a huge manhunt, as 80,000 Soldiers and police officers launched a manhunt for the two brothers. The younger brother, Cherif, reportedly had links to the terrorist group al-Qaeda in Yemen.

The following day, January 8, a lone gunman fatally shot a female police officer south of Paris. That killing was allegedly committed by Amedy Coulibaly, 32, another Islamic extremist, according to French law enforcement authorities.

A dramatic and bloody ending


On January 9, the wave of violence came to a bloody and dramatic end.

Following a police chase, French security forces cornered the Kouachi brothers inside a printing plant in the town of Dammartin-en-Goële, northeast of Paris. Both were killed during a furious gun battle with French security forces.

Meanwhile, Coulibaly took about 15 people hostage at a Jewish supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood in Paris. Police stormed the Jewish supermarket, killing him and rescuing most of the hostages, who fled out of the supermarket as police stormed in.

A history of violence


Before security forces killed him, Cherif told BFMTV that he had trained with al Qaeda in Yemen. In that country, he said, he had met Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim who had been the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen until a U.S. drone strike killed him in 2011.

In 2008, a French court sentenced the younger Kouachi to three years in prison for participating in a group which recruited jihadist fighters to go to war in Iraq. He had been arrested in 2005, when he was 22, just before he and another man were about to go to Syria and then Iraq to join the fighting.

The Kouachi brothers were born in France to Algerian parents.

Coulibaly, meanwhile, had told BFMTV in a phone interview that he was affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He was close to Cherif Kouachi, according to a Western intelligence source, and had been previously arrested by French police in possession of 240 rounds of ammunition for a Kalashnikov rifle.

Leaders offer condolences, support


Meanwhile, leaders from throughout the world, including Latin America, spoke in support of the French people and against terrorism. And on January 11, as many as 1.6 million people gathered in Paris to march in solidarity in support of freedom of speech and against Islamic terrorism.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called the attack on Charlie Hebdo “intolerable.”

“I wish to extend my condolences to the families of the victims during this time of pain and suffering,” Rousseff’s said. “I also want extend our government's solidarity to the French people on behalf of the entire Brazilian nation.”

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry expressed the country’s condolences and reiterated “its steadfast commitment to peace and the fight against terrorism in all its forms, and the political will and determination to continue strengthening international cooperation mechanisms, observing the laws and respecting human rights, as the only way of democratic societies to tackle this scourge.”

The Colombian government also denounced the terrorist attacks and called France “a partner and friend of Colombia.”

The Mexican government reiterated its stance that it rejects all forms of terrorism and sent its condolences to the French people, their government and the victims’ families.

“Mexico condemns the attack on the Charlie
Hebdo
weekly and expresses its condolences to society and the Government of France,” Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted.

France is one of the strongest allies of the United States, U.S. President Barack Obama said. He pledged to support France, a nation that has been at his country’s side “every moment” since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks killed about 3,000 people in New York City, Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania.

“For us to see the kind of cowardly evil attacks that took place, 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,” Obama told reporters.

The violence in Frances showed that terrorist attacks can occur anywhere in the world, the president said.

“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,” he told reporters. “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.”
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