Paris attacks live updates: French president calls for vigilance, unity
Jan 09, 2015 | 11:55 AM
Police have killed suspects who were holed up in two locations following a manhunt for two brothers suspected of killing 12 this week at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. A female suspect is still at large, an official said.
BFM TV reported that Amedy Coulibaly telephoned the station at about 3 p.m. in the midst of the hostage-taking at the kosher market, and claimed to be “synchronized” with the Kouachi brothers.
"We just synchronized ourselves for the start, that is when they started Charlie Hebdo and I started to do the police," he said, referring to the magazine attack and the policewoman's killing a day later.
In an excerpt broadcast by BFM TV, Coulibaly claimed to be from the extremist group Islamic State and said he had received instructions from the caliphate.
He told the station that there were four dead people in the shop, and that he was with 16 people, including children.
Earlier Friday morning, a journalist from BFM TV called the print shop where the Kouachi brothers were holed up to try to reach witnesses and ended up speaking with Cherif Kouachi, the station reported.
Kouachi agreed to an interview, telling the reporter that he was sent by Al Qaeda and financed by Anwar Awlaki before he was killed in a U.S. drone strike.
Night falls in Paris after standoffs end; Arc de Triomphe alight with 'Paris est Charlie'
Matthieu Alexandre / AFP/Getty Images
French president issues call for vigilance, unity
French President Francois Hollande thanked policemen for their efforts and urged the country to remain vigilant in a televised address Friday.
"Even though France is aware it has faced up to these attacks and its security forces are composed of courageous men and women," Hollande said, "France also knows it’s not over yet with the threat and hence I would like to issue a call for vigilance."
Hollande also expressed condolences to the families of the victims and those injured and called for unity.
"Unity is our weapon and we must show our determination to fight against anything that might divide us," he said.
Hollande ended the speech encouraging people to attend a unity rally in Paris on Sunday.
"I’d like to call upon all French people to stand up this Sunday for liberty, pluralism, all those values that are so important to us … so that we’ll be even stronger after this trial," Hollande said. "Long live the republic, long live France."
U.S. intelligence officials are looking closely at what role Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen may have played in the attack on a newspaper office in Paris this week that killed 12 after determining that one of the gunmen trained with the terrorist group.
The gunman, Said Kouachi, is believed to have traveled to Yemen in 2011 to train with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. At the time, the jihadist organization was a magnet for Westerners wanting to join Al Qaeda. The Yemen cell was responsible both for the failed attempt to blow up a jetliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 using a bomb hidden in a man’s underwear as well as a disrupted plot to hide explosives in printer cartridges shipped to Chicago a year later.
Police official says possible second hostage taker found in market; 3 hostages killed
A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation, has confirmed the following to The Times:
--Police found what appears to be the body of a second gunman inside the market in eastern Paris. That person has not been identified.
--Three hostages were found dead after the market was evacuated. Police believe they were killed in the initial attack on the building. Just before storming the building, police could see people inside who were not moving, and suspected they were already dead.
--At least three hostages suffered serious injuries, but it is not clear when they were hurt. It's still unclear exactly how many hostages were held at the market, but the official said it was more than the five or six initially reported. Some of the hostages apparently hid out in a cold storage room.
--A female suspect drove the two hostage takers to the market at about 1 p.m. She is still at large. Police haven't ruled out the possibility of additional accomplices at large.
--At least two police officers were injured during the raid on the market, and another was hurt in the raid at the printing press.
--The person initially reported to be held hostage by the Kouachi brothers was actually hiding in the building. "Apparently the brothers didn't realize this person was there," the official told The Times. "He was hiding throughout and entered into contact with our officers."
Boumeddiene allegedly carried out the attack with Amedy Coulibaly, the suspect who police say was holding hostages at a Paris market before police stormed in.
Coulibaly is reportedly dead.
Dramatic video of police storming Paris supermarket
French TV shows hostages fleeing from Paris market
Live images on French television stations showed dozens of police in riot gear swarming around a kosher market in Paris where hostages were taken Friday.
They could be seen swarming around the building, shining flashlights inside. A small explosion was visible near the main glass entrance doors before the officers stormed in.
Moments later, hostages started rushing out. They fled on foot in different directions, looking confused and disoriented. Some took shelter behind an armored police truck, which is parked in front of the grocery store.
One of the hostages appeared to be an elderly woman who was unsteady on her feet. A police officer yanked her by the arm toward the armored vehicle.
The police are all wearing black, have guns and helmets on and visors down. Some of them have their guns trained, ready to fire.
Suspect at market is dead, says French official
The suspect holding several hostages at a supermarket in eastern Paris is dead, the French ambassador to the United States said on Twitter.
According to Jean-Jacques Urvoar, police stormed the supermarket.
The hostages are reportedly alive.
The kosher supermarket has been stormed. The terrorist is dead. The hostages are alive.
An attacker armed with an AK-47 who stormed a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris Friday afternoon is linked to the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shootings, a senior police official told the New York Times.
The gunman had taken five people, including women and children, hostage, police official Christophe Tirante told the newspaper.
Tirante identified the attacker as Amedy Coulibaly and said there was a 'sure' connection between him and the two brothers who are believed to be cornered in a separate hostage situation in a printing shop in Dammartin-en-Goële, near Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Police officials have named Coulibaly as one of two suspects in the fatal shooting of a policewoman in a Paris suburb Thursday.
Tirante said Coulibaly's first demand from the supermarket was for police to release Cherif and Said Kouachi, the brothers who are suspected of killing 12 people in the attack.
A salesman at the printing shop currently surrounded by police told France Info radio that when the two men, believed to be the brothers, arrived this morning, he initially assumed they were officers with police special operations and shook one of the suspect's hands. He said the man was dressed in black combat gear and heavily armed.
“Go, we don’t kill civilians," the gunman said, according to the witness, who gave his name only as Didier. “I thought it was strange,” he said.
“As I left I didn’t know what it was, it wasn’t normal. I did not know what was going on. Was it a hostage taking or a burglary?"
Police have ordered shops on Rosiers street in Paris' Marais neighborhood to close, the Associated Press reported.
The area is a famous Jewish neighorhood in the heart of the tourist district and less than a mile away from the offices of Charlie Hebdo, but it is not close to the grocery store currently under siege in Paris.
The Marais neighborhood is outlined below.
Police name suspects in killing of police officer
Police have released the names and photos of suspects in the shooting and killing of a police officer yesterday in a suburb of Paris.
A gunman shot the officer during a traffic incident and fled, authorities said.
It is not been clear if the shooting has been linked to Wednesday's Charlie Hebdo killings.
In Dammartin-en-Goele: 'We feel safe because of the law enforcement'
Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images
Resident Tilémakhos Paraskevas, 26, lives a few streets away from the printing factory where the suspected terrorists are believed to be camped out, and described the scene as something out of a "horror movie."
"There were helicopters in the air this morning. I could see about 100 police in the streets and police trucks," he said.
"Law enforcement were knocking on all the doors and telling people not to leave, to close the windows and turn off the lights."
Later in the afternoon, the atmosphere took on an erie calm.
"We feel safe because of the law enforcement, but we are anxious. There is not a lot of information about what is happening."
As shown above, French police were blocking access to the town.
Witness at scene of grocery store: 'I heard a shot ring out'
Witness Eric Dadone-Vaillant, who lives in Porte de Vincennes, found himself trapped in a café across the street from the grocery store as law enforcement suddenly swarmed the area to deal with a second hostage situation.
"I heard a shot ring out and then the police arrived immediately on the scene," he said. "I saw a man down on the ground."
Up to 20 officers crammed into the cafe and others crouched behind cars in the street.
"The police here have confirmed that it is a hostage situation and that we would probably be here for a while," he said.
They instructed customers to move away from the windows. "I'm taking shelter with everyone, behind the counter," Dadone-Vaillant said.
Below, France 24 is streaming English-language coverage of the grocery store situation.
Gunman has hostages at Jewish grocery store
The Paris prosecutor has told the Associated Press that a gunman is holding hostages at a kosher market in eastern Paris. SWAT police are on the scene.
There were reports on French TV of at least one hostage being held near the factory, and Yves Albarello, a member of parliament for Siene-et-Marne, said the suspected terrorists told negotiators they "want to die as martyrs."
Whenever something like this happens, we are on the front lines as scapegoats. There have been a number of attacks already this year.
Abdallah Zekri, president of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia
Gun and grenade attacks outside at least two French mosques have heightened fears of an anti-Muslim backlash.
The deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical newspaper, came as far-right parties have been gaining in popularity not only in France but also in Germany, Britain, Greece and elsewhere, feeding the anti-immigrant sentiments on which they thrive.
Google, he said, had pledged $300,000, though a spokesperson for the company could not be reached immediately Thursday to confirm the figure.
Some of the financial support could be coming from a Google-backed fund called the Digital Innovation Press Fund, based in France.
In an email, Ludovic Blecher, managing director of the fund, said the organization is still "trying to figure out a way to provide financial support" to Charlie Hebdo. Blecher declined to confirm the amounts of any monetary pledges, but added that other publications had offered their offices and other resources so the magazine's staff can continue.
A joint statement from Le Monde, Radio France and France Televisions said the trio would provide resources necessary to keep the satirical magazine running.
France's Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin told French media outlets Thursday that she wants to make about 1 million euros available to support the magazine, The Daily Mirror reported.
President Obama visited the French Embassy in Washington on Thursday evening, signed a book of condolences and stood in silence for about a minute.
In the condolences book, he wrote: “On behalf of all Americans, I extend our deepest sympathy and solidarity to the people of France following the terrible terrorist attack in Paris. As allies across the centuries, we stand united with our French brothers to ensure that justice is done and our way of life is defended. We go forward together knowing that terror is no match for freedom and ideals we stand for — ideals that light the world. Vive la France!”
Above, French Ambassador Gerard Araud watches Obama sign the book.
One of the suspects in the attack on Charlie Hebdo had received training by an Al Qaeda-affiliated militia in Yemen in 2011, U.S. officials disclosed.
In Washington, a senior official said one of the Kouachi brothers traveled to Yemen for training from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a militant group that has attempted multiple attacks against U.S. and Western targets in recent years. The official was not immediately able to say which of the two brothers, , had been trained by the militants.
Michel Houellebecq has suspended the promotion of his new book "Soumission" ("Submission"), featured on Charlie Hebdo's latest cover, a BBC translation of a France TV report said.
Houellebecq, a novelist accused of inciting Islamophobia with the book, said he was "deeply affected" by the death of his friend Bernard Maris, who was killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack, according to the BBC translation.
In the novel, set in 2022, French voters elect a moderate Muslim president. From there, the country turns into a Muslim-like state, where "women abandon Western dress and leave work, non-Muslim teachers are forced out of their jobs and polygamy is reinstated," according to the Telegraph.
Explosions near two French mosques occurred early Thursday, according to the Associated Press. It was unclear whether they were related to Wednesday's deadly rampage in the Charlie Hebdo offices.
No one was injured, AP reported, but the Thursday attacks -- one in Le Mans, southwest of Paris, and the other in Villefranche-sur-Saone to the southeast -- raised worries about a possible backlash against France's Muslims.
According to AFP News, the explosive in Villefranche-sur-Saone was placed in front of a kebab restaurant a few yards from a mosque’s entrance.
In Le Mans, three blank grenades were thrown at a mosque and shots were fired at the building, AFP said. Above, a photo of a bullet hole at that mosque.
After nightfall Thursday, French television showed police in body armor carrying automatic weapons fanning out to search homes and forests near the village of Longpont in the northern Picardy region where the suspects were reportedly sighted earlier in the day.
U.S.' Eric Holder to go to Paris for talks on terrorism
U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. plans to travel to Paris for a high-level international security meeting Sunday convened by the French Interior Ministry to discuss terrorist threats and strategy for countering violent extremism.
Corinne Rey, a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, was putting in a security code to enter the building housing the Hebdo offices, when two gunmen forced her to open the door, according to a New York Times translation of her interview with French magazine L'Humanite.
The cartoonist, who goes by the pen name Coco, used her Twitter account to thank everyone for their support.
Merci pour tous vos soutiens face à cette horreur. Mobilisez vous pour nous, tous mes Amis, morts ou blessés, mon Journal
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has said the Eiffel tower will go dark at 8 p.m. local time in honor of the victims of the terrorist attack. Hidalgo also called for the "defenders of liberty" to again gather at the Place de la République in Paris for vigils.
Under gray, rainy skies, Parisians and others continued to pay homage Thursday to the 12 killed in the rampage.
"Whoever did this wanted to shut the mouth of free expression" said ¿Margy Adjouhgniope, 21, one of a pair of sisters, both university students, who traveled to a makeshift shrine at the Place de la Republique in central Paris.
The iconic plaza, with its signature monument to liberty, fraternity and equality, has become a kind of collective mourning ground for the 12 people killed in the attack on the magazine’s offices in Paris. Handwritten signs proclaim "I am Charlie" in various languages.
People have added pens and scribbled notes to the mounds of flowers and candles, in a nod to the journalists' craft. One person wrote: "Don't kill anyone in the name of my religion."
At noon, during a moment of silence declared for the victims, those gathered in the plaza held hands as they circled the monument.¿ Some had tears in their eyes.
"It was a very moving, solemn moment," ¿said Thomas Rutledge, an American chemistry professor visiting Paris. "It was about freedom of speech and how critical it is that voices be heard."
An attorney for Charlie Hebdo told the French newspaper Le Monde that an issue of the satirical magazine will be published next Wednesday. Richard Malka, the magazine's attorney, said a million copies will be printed.
Selon Richard Malka, l'avocat du journal, Charlie Hebdo sortira bien mercredi prochain, et sera tiré à un million d'exemplaires.
During Thursday's Mass in Vatican City, Pope Francis asked for prayers for the victims of the Paris attack. He also asked for prayers for those "who are cruel so that the Lord may change their heart," according to the Associated Press
Britain has increased security at ports and border points after the deadly attack in Paris, though British officials say there is no specific new threat to the country, the Associated Press reported. Prime Minister David Cameron's office says the national threat level remains at "severe," which means intelligence officials believe an attack is highly likely.
Bells rang out, Paris public transport stood still and children sat silent as France mourned 12 people killed in an attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices. French President Francois Hollande ordered flags at half-staff to honor the victims. Onlookers wept while listening to bells at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.