AR Staff, American Renaissance, January 7, 2015
By AR staff from French sources.
Earlier today, gunmen attacked a staff meeting at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, killing 10 journalists and wounded eight more, four of them seriously. The black-hooded gunmen also killed two policemen.
According to witnesses, the men shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is great) before opening fire, as well as “We have avenged the prophet,” and “We have killed Charlie Hebdo.” Since 2006, the magazine has mocked Islam and sharia law, and has frequently illustrated its articles with satirical cartoons of Mohammed.
The attack started at about 11:25 a.m. local time, when two men carrying rifles followed a postman into a locked building at 8 Rue Nicolas-Appert in central Paris. It was the wrong address–Charlie Hebdo is next door at number 10–and the men soon were back on the street. The Charlie Hebdo building was also locked, but a cartoonist was about to go in, and the men forced her to enter the security code on the keypad. They took her with them into the building but she hid under a desk and survived. She says the gunmen spoke perfect French.
The staff of Charlie Hebdo were gathered for a weekly meeting, which is held every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Most of the staff work offsite, so this was the only time of the week when so many people would be in the office.
There have been many death threats against Charlie Hebdo’s editorial director, who is known by the name of Charb, so he was accompanied by an armed policeman serving as a body guard. The attackers immediately killed him and then turned their guns on everyone in the room. The magazine’s top journalists, men who go by the names of Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous, were killed along with Charb, so there is justification to the gunmen’s claim that they have “killed Charlie Hebdo.”
After the attack, estimated to have taken 5 minutes, the men went back outside the building, where they shot a policeman and then drove off in a black car. They abandoned that car about a mile and a half from the magazine’s offices, carjacked a passing vehicle, and headed northeast towards Seine Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb with a heavily immigrant population.
As of this writing the attackers are still on the loose, although the French government has launched a massive manhunt and announced a national state of alert. Some reports indicate that there were three attackers and that they carried rocket-propelled grenades.
In 2012, Charlie Hebdo published a series of cartoons that enraged Muslims and prompted death threats. A man living in La Rochelle was arrested after calling for the decapitation of the authors. Another claimed he was going to the magazine’s office to “slit the throat of everyone I find.” The police assigned officers to protect two other journalists in addition to Charb, but the bodyguards were withdrawn after a year.