Tag Archives: Charlie Hebdo

Paris has suffered Europe’s worst terror attack in 10 years. Here’s what we know

Updated at 2:27pm ET.

Paris suffered at least six nearly simultaneous attacks on on Friday (Nov. 13), blamed by president François Hollande on the extremist group ISIL, which left at least 128 people dead and around 300 wounded.

The attacks during a normal, busy Friday night included a mass shooting at a concert hall, several shootings at bars and restaurants, and several bomb detonations, including more than one near France’s national stadium, where a soccer match between the French and German national teams was in progress.

Eight assailants died, most via suicide after reportedly detonating explosive belts they were wearing.

Hollande called the attacks an “act of war” carried out by ISIL, and pledged that France would respond with a “merciless” fight against terrorism. He declared a state of national emergency, which included increased border security, as well as three days of national mourning.

It was the worst attack on a European target since the Madrid bombingsin 2004, when 190 people were killed and more than 1,800 wounded, in four coordinated attacks on commuter trains.

It is also the second terrorist attack on Paris this year, after gunmen killed journalists at the magazine Charlie Hebdo, a policewoman, and several people during an attack on a supermarket. In August, a heavily armed gunman was stopped on a train on its way from Brussels to Paris just before he was able to open fire on passengers.

ISIL claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks in a statement released on social media in Arabic, French, and English. The statement, which has not yet been independently verified, called Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity,” and said that France’s actions in Syria were a factor in the decision to target the country.

Vague generalities and no specific background information about the attackers suggests that ISIL may have inspired the attacks, rather than directly orchestrating them.

The sites of the attacks

Stade de France

At about 9:20pm an explosion detonated near the French national stadium, where a soccer match between the French and German national teams was in progress. A second blast was heard 10 minutes later, and a third 20 minutes after that. Hollande, who was at the match, was quickly evacuated. No one apart from the bombers appear to have died in the blasts.

At least one attacker had a ticket to the game, and was reportedlystopped by security from entering the stadium, prompting him to detonate his explosives. According to the Wall Street Journal, a second bomber blew himself up outside the stadium, shortly thereafter, and a third attacker detonated explosives at a nearby McDonald’s.

Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carrillon

At around the same time, several gunmen opened fire at Le Petit Cambodge, a Cambodian restaurant on rue Bichat, in the the trendy Canal Saint Martin neighborhood. Eleven people were killed, the AP reported, citing a police officials. Patrons of a nearby bar, Le Carrillon, were also injured in the shooting.

Le Bataclan

Just before 10pm, in the worst single attack, around 87 people died when gunmen entered a large concert hall in the 11th arrondissement, where an American band, Eagles of Death Metal, were playing. The venue has capacity of 1,500 and was sold out, the BBC reported. Eyewitnesses described (link in French) the attackers as unmasked and young, and said they made concertgoers lie on the floor before opening fire on them.

French police stormed the building around midnight. At least one report from someone who escaped said the gunmen spoke to hostages, telling them that the attack was a response to France’s military interventions in Syria. France joined the US in airstrikes against ISIL in Syria in September, and announced this month it was sending an aircraft carrier to fight ISIL.

La Belle Equipe

Le Monde reported that a gunman opened fire on the crowded terrace of a restaurant on the corner of Rue Faidherbe and Rue de Charonne,killing 19 people.

Other explosions

Five people were killed during an explosion on a street called Rue de la Fontaine au Roi. A suicide bomber also detonated a blast on Boulevarde Voltaire. The New York Times reported that only one person—the bomber himself—was killed.

What’s next?

Public buildings, schools, museums, and markets are closed today, and the police have temporarily banned demonstrations and other large gatherings. The Eiffel Tower has been closed indefinitely, according to the operator of the popular tourist attraction. There is increased security at all French borders.

Attention is now turning to how such deadly, coordinated attacks could take place in a city that had so recently been struck by terrorists. Germany has offered the help of its security services, while other world leaders have sent messages of solidarity.

Discussion will intensify about how the attacks will affect Europe’s policy of open borders. These have been challenged in recent months as the flow of migrants, and especially refugees from war-torn countries like Syria, has dramatically increased.

Who are the attackers?

Belgium’s justice minister announced today (Nov. 14) that there were several police raids in the St. Jans Molebnbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Saturday, and several people have been arrested in connection to last night’s attacks.

Paris public prosecutor François Molins said two of the attackers who were killed in last night’s violence have been identified. Fingerprints identified one of the attackers as a 30-year-old Frenchman who was known to be radicalized.

He was born in the Parisian suburb Courcouronne and had been sentenced eight times between 2008 and 2010 for minor violations, according to Molins. A passport for one of the State de France assailants showed that he was born in Syria.


Two survivors of Charlie Hebdo massacre to leave the newspaper

Artistic director Luz and writer Patrick Pelloux announce resignations amid signs of ‘malaise’ at the irreverent French publication

Two journalists are leaving Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French newspaper whose staff was decimated in a January terror massacre.

Artistic director Luz had said in May that he planned to end his career as a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist. In this week’s issue, he made known that next week would be his last.

Writer Patrick Pelloux said in an interview Saturday he was also leaving, “probably” in January.

Renald Luzier, aka Luz (L) and Patrick Pelloux

Charlie Hebdo mocked religions, including Islam’s prophet Mohammed. Luz drew the cover cartoon – a weeping Mohammed, saying “All is forgiven” – in the issue following the Jan. 7 attack by Islamic extremists on the paper, which left 12 people dead. A second attack two days later on a Kosher grocery store in Paris killed five others. All three gunmen died in clashes with police.

“If I’ve decided to stop writing it’s because … something has ended,” Pelloux told the student radio station Web7Radio. “You have to know how to turn the page one day.”

He said those who escaped the massacre are not real survivors because “a part of us ended with these attacks.”

The paper ignited another uproar recently with a cartoon depicting 3-year-old Syrian migrant Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a Turkish beach, and a sign “So near the goal” – with McDonald’s arches and the Ronald McDonald clown.

Luz responded to the uproar in the paper’s latest edition, saying the cartoon by Riss aimed to mock “our liberal and hypocritical society,” which needed a photo of a dead boy to become aware of the migrants’ plight.

Sales of the irreverent paper rose dramatically after the January attack. But staff member Zineb el-Rhazoui told the iTele TV channel Saturday the latest departures are a sign of a “malaise” at Charlie Hebdo.

Charlie Hebdo publishes cartoon of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has publishes a cartoon about the death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi on the cover of its latest issue.

Eight months after the terrorist attacks at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris which killed 12, the magazine has continued to create controversial content.

Since the photograph of three-year-old boy, Aylan al-Kurdi, who fled with his family from the Syrian civil war but died on a Turkish beach was shared around the world, public support in Europe for refugees has reached increased significantly.

Charlie Hebdo used two cartoons both including drawings of Aylan’s death.

The print accompanying the image reads: “Welcome to migrants!” “So near his goal…” is the message over Aylan’s body.

A sign on the beach with a children’s clown character says: “Promo! 2 kids menus for the price of one”.

A second cartoon depicts what appears to be Jesus next to the drowned boy with the caption: “Proof that Europe is Christian. Christians walk on water – Muslim children sink.”

The cartoons have attracted a lot of criticism online from those who view the use of Aylan’s death for satirical purposes as offensive. Others have said magazine is merely the West’s handling of the refugee crisis.

The images were drawn by artist, Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau. The political cartoonist has had to be chaperoned at all times by armed, plain-clothed police since the attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.

Riss survived the shooting despite being hit in the shoulder and has since become the acting editor of the magazine.

Maajid Nawaz, founder of the think-tank Quilliam defended the magazine’s cartoon: “Taste is always in the eye of the beholder. But these cartoons are a damning indictment on our anti-refugee sentiment,” he wrote on Facebook. “The McDonald’s image is a searing critique of heartless European consumerism in the face of one of the worst human tragedies of our times.

“The image about Christians walking on water while Muslims drown is (so obviously) critiquing hypocritical European Christian “love”.

“Fellow Muslims, not everything and everyone are against us, every time. But if we keep assuming they are by reacting like this, they will surely become so.

CARTOUCHE – Charlie Hebdo Tribute March

On January 11, 2015 we got up to pay tribute to victims of the attacks of Charlie Weekly. In response to the atrocities we have responded with a message of humanity because in France, Freedom is our reason for moving.

Réalisation : Clément Lefer
Production : Raphaël Botton
Script : Aliénor Collen
Musique : Adam Taylor
Treeline at Night – Licensed by themusicbed.com

5 Russian Chechens arrested in France for ‘preparing to launch terror attack’

Five Russian citizens, believed to be Chechens, have been arrested in the south of France on suspicion that they were preparing a terrorist attack.

Authorities said that a cache of explosives was discovered during a series of police raids overnight in Béziers and near Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast.

Further raids were still in progress today, according to the local state prosecutor, Yvon Calvet.

The local newspaper Midi Libre said the explosives had been found near the local football stadium –  le stade de Sauclières

It was not immediately clear whether this was just a hiding place or whether an attack on the stadium itself was planned.

The mostly Muslim republic of Chechnya, part of the Russian federation, has seen mass protests against France in recent days following the publication last week of a carton of the Prophet Mohamed in the “survivors’ editions” of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Erdogan lashes out at Charlie Hebdo magazine

Turkish leader says magazine “wreaks terror by intervening in freedom of others”, adding freedom “is not limitless”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, for its “provocative” publications about Islam, saying the weekly paper incites hatred and racism.

“This magazine [is] notorious for its provocative publications about Muslims, about Christians, about everyone,” Erdogan told a meeting of businessmen in Ankara on Friday.

“This is not called freedom. This equates to wreaking terror by intervening in the freedom space of others. We should be aware of this. There is no limitless freedom,” he said.

In its first issue since the attacks by gunmen last week on its headquarters that killed 12 people, the magazine featured an image of the Prophet Muhammad weeping on its front cover.

The cover sparked fresh controversy and protests in some parts of the Muslim world, where many find any depiction of the prophet, let alone satirical ones, highly offensive.

Erdogan said Muslims expected respect for their prophet the same way as they valued the prophets of Judaism and Christianity.

“They may be atheists. If they are, they will respect what is sacred to me,” said Erdogan.

“If they do not, it means it is a provocation, which is punishable by laws. What they do is incite hatred, racism,” he added.

A total of 17 people, including journalists and police officers, died in the assault on Charlie Hebdo‘s office in Paris last week and in a bloody hostage-taking at a kosher supermarket two days later.

Turkish version

In solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet published a four-page pull-out, translated in Turkish, including some Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

Although Cumhuriyet chose not to publish the cover in its news pages, two writers put the cartoon in their columns.

A small version of that cartoon however was included twice inside the newspaper to illustrate columns on the subject, prompting prosecutors to open an investigation into two commentators writing for Cumhuriyet.

Erdogan said the publication of the cartoons in predominantly Muslim Turkey was against law.

“Which country do you live in?” asked Erdogan in a thinly-veiled jab at the Turkish daily.

“What you did goes against law … You are inviting provocation.”

T24, a Turkish liberal news website, published the whole Charlie Hebdo special issue “to support freedom of speech” and “to stand solidarity against terror”.

Two Turkish daily newspapers, Sozcu and Yurt, also published the Charlie Hebdo cover.


Charlie Hebdo cover printed in Turkish daily

Purported cartoon of Prophet Muhammad published in Cumhuriyet’s opinion columns, but not in its news pages.

A Turkish daily has published cartoons from the latest edition of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which came under a deadly attack last week, as Turkish police took tight security measures around the Turkish newspaper’s headquarters.

Secularist Cumhuriyet newspaper published four pages of translated Charlie Hebdo cartoons on Wednesday, the same day the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo came out.

The weekly French newspaper’s cover purportedly depicts Prophet Muhammad crying and holding a sign reading, “I am Charlie” with the words “All is forgiven” written above him.

Although Cumhuriyet chose not to publish the cover in its news pages, two writers, Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya, have put the cartoon in their columns.

Karan, who was contacted by Al Jazeera, refused to comment on the issue. Cetinkaya could not immediately be reached for comment.

Later on Wednesday, a Turkish court ordered the country’s telecommunications authority to ban access to web pages showing Charlie Hebdo’s front cover, Turkey’s state-run news agency said.

The Anatolia news agency said the court in the city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey ordered the ban.

A total of 17 people, including journalists and police officers, died in the assault on Charlie Hebdo’s office last week and in a bloody hostage situation at a kosher supermarket two days later.

Millions of copies of the special Charlie Hebdo issue on the attack were sold out after they were distributed across France on Wednesday.

Renald Luzier, the cartoonist who drew the cover image under the pen name “Luz”, said it represents “just a little guy who is crying”, adding: “Yes, it is Muhammad.”

Cumhuriyet’s pages included Charlie Hebdo articles and cartoons satirising Nigerian armed group Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.

The newspaper is known for its strong opposition to the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In ‘soldarity’ with Charlie Hebdo

In a statement via his Twitter account, Ufuk Cakirozer, the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, said that his newspaper stood in “solidarity” with Charlie Hebdo for press freedom.

“We have lost our writers in terror attacks. We understand the pain of the Charlie Hebdo massacre,” he said.

“As part of our solidarity, we have published four pages of Charlie Hebdo cartoons in our special issue. However, as part of our principles, we have been delicate on freedom of religion and religious sensitivities… We have not put the cover page of the newspaper in our Wednesday issue.”

In a public statement on Wednesday afternoon, Cumhuriyet said it “had no intention to take on or target anybody’s religious or sacred values”, adding that it would continue to defend freedom of speech.

Starting very early on Wednesday morning, Turkish police blocked the streets leading to Cumhuriyet’s offices, and took comprehensive measures around the building in case of potential aggression against the newspaper.

At the same time, police searched trucks leaving a printing house with Cumhuriyet’s Wednesday edition.

In the earlier reports, Turkish media said that police allowed circulation because the selected cartoons did not feature the cover. However, the cover was featured in the two columns.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office gave the green light to the circulation of Cumhuriyet following the search, Turkish media reported.

Yalcin Akdogan, a senior adviser to Erdogan, said on his Twitter account that the Turkish government “condemn the incitements, attacks and provocations against Islamic symbols as they condemn the Paris attack.”

“[The ones] who ignore the values of Muslims by publishing figures referring to our holy prophet are in an act of provocation,” Akdogan said.

“[The ones] who take pride in targeting religions are heating up Islamophobia. This mentality, whatever tool they use, is a threat to the world peace.”

Several people were detained on Wednesday night after a demonstration against Cumhuriyet close its offices.

Protesters gathered outside the premises of the daily in Istanbul, chanting slogans such as, “Cumhuriyet will answer”, “This is Turkey, not France” and “Kouachi brothers are our pride”.

The Kouachi brothers, who attacked Charlie Hebdo, were killed in a police operation in France last week.

Later on Wednesday, T24, a Turkish liberal news website, published the whole Charlie Hebdo special issue “to support freedom of speech” and “to stand solidarity against terror”.