Terrorists Attack the Media
On February 7, 2015 a terror attack struck Paris, killing twelve people as well as assaulting the concept of free speech. The target of the attack was the satirical French newspaper called Charlie Hebdo.
At approximately 11:00 the newspaper’s staff was holding their weekly editorial meeting. Two men wearing masks approached an employee who was entering the Charlie Hebdo office. The pulled firearms and demanded that they be allowed access to the secure electronic door. As soon as they were allowed in, they opened fire in the lobby.
Killing one employee in the lobby, the men proceeded to the 2nd floor office where the editorial meeting was being held. The gunmen again opened fire. The scene was a bloodbath. There were fifteen people in the room and ten of them were killed. The gunman shouted Allahu Akbar repeatedly and verbally identified themselves as belonging to Al-Qaeda.
Fleeing the building the gunmen engaged a responding police officer. One of them shot and wounded the officer, then walked up to him and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. The gunmen then left the scene, shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have killed Charlie Hebdo.”
A large-scale manhunt ensued. Police found a getaway car that contained an ID card for one of the perps. Soon brothers Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi were identified. Both were Frenchmen of Algerian descent. Both had been radicalized years prior and had been arrested or surveilled for terrorist activities in the past.
The brothers were spotted the next morning north of Paris but were in the wind by the time the police arrived. Later that afternoon they robbed a gas station in another Parisienne suburb. The next day the pair carjacked a Peugeot and led cops on a 20-mile pursuit. The vehicle pursuit ended in a hail of bullets as the perps opened fire on the police. After a flurry of gunfire, the two were able to escape again, this time on foot.
They holed up in a nearby store and a standoff soon ensued. There were hostages in the store and the police attempted to negotiate. After eight hours the brothers emerged from the store, blasting away at cops with their high-powered rifles. The police returned fire and were able to shoot and kill both of them almost immediately.
While the standoff was going on, an associate of the Kouchi brothers attacked patrons of a Jewish market in Paris. He was killed around the same time as the brothers. French Police conducted a full investigation into the attacks. They were able to identify and arrest fourteen individuals who provided material support or logistics for the attacks. A Paris jury convicted all fourteen.