Charlie Hebdo attack: several arrested but hunt for suspects continues
时间：2019-08-22 责任编辑：宓虔概 来源：pk10官网计划 点击：104 次
France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, says “several arrests” were made overnight in the hunt for two suspects after the worst terrorist attack carried out in for half a century.
In an interview with RTL radio on Thursday morning, Valls said preventing another attack “is our main concern”. The two men who carried out the attack are still being sought.
of brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, who were described as being in their early 30s and were considered to be armed and dangerous.
One of the suspects, Cherif Kouachi, had a history of funneling jihadi fighters to Iraq and a terrorism conviction from 2008. He and his brother, Said, should be considered “armed and dangerous,” French police said in a bulletin early on Thursday, appealing for witnesses after a fruitless search in the city of Reims, in French Champagne country.
A police source told Reuters news agency that one of the suspects had been identified by his identity card, which had been left in the getaway car.
An official at the Paris prosecutor’s office said a third suspect – an 18-year-old named as Hamyd Mourad – had turned himself in at a police station in Charleville-Mézières, a small town in France’s eastern Champagne region, some 230km north-east of near the border with Belgium.
BFM TV, citing unidentified sources, said the teenager had decided to go to the police after seeing his name on social media. Friends of the teenager were reported to have said he was in school at the time of the shootings.
Chérif Kouachi, who is now 32, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 after being convicted of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s insurgency. He said at the time he was outraged at the torture of Iraqi inmates at the US prison at Abu Ghraib near Baghdad.
The huge manhunt followed an attack on Wednesday morning at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 dead.
The brutal shootings triggered a wave of solidarity, with rallies in defence of free speech in more than 30 French cities and in global capitals.
President François Hollande has declared a day of national mourning for Thursday with flags at half-mast for three days, saying the country had been “struck at its very heart”.
But he vowed: “Freedom will always be stronger than barbarism.”
World leaders also pledged they would not be cowed, but the longer-term impact on free expression was unclear in the wake of a mass killing of such brutality.
The atrocity began when gunmen in balaclavas and bulletproof vests, armed with a pump-action shotgun and an automatic rifle, stormed into the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo at about 11.30am on Wednesday as about 15 journalists had gathered for the weekly editorial conference.
They called for the editor by name and then murdered him before opening fire, killing nine more and wounding others.
Laurent Léger, a Charlie Hebdo writer, managed to sound the alarm, calling a friend and telling him: “Call the police. It’s carnage, a bloodbath. Everyone is dead.”
As they made their getaway, the gunmen shot dead two policemen, including one whom they shot in the head at close range as he lay injured on the pavement.
The two attackers then jumped into a small black Citroën that they had apparently arrived in and drove off. Police said there was a third man involved in the attack who had driven the car to the magazine offices, on rue Nicolas Appert in the 11th arrondissement in eastern Paris, and it is not clear whether he fled the scene during the attack.
The gunmen abandoned the Citroën in the 19th arrondissement, in the north-east of the capital, before hijacking another car. Police said the attackers had then had gone to ground, leaving a nation in shock.
Late on Wednesday night, a squad of French commandos was reported to have carried out a raid on an apartment in the city of Reims as part of the hunt for two gunmen and an accomplice – who were identified by officers – but it was later reported that the suspects were not in the property.
The attack was the bloody culmination of a long-simmering struggle between France’s libertarian traditions of free speech and an increasingly extreme strand of Islamist thought.
Witnesses described hearing the attackers shout “Allahu akbar” as well as “we have avenged the Prophet”. Two eyewitnesses said they claimed to be from al-Qaida. One of them specified al-Qaida in Yemen, a group also known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Charlie Hebdo, a feisty and irreverent publication with a 44-year history, had been at the frontline of that battle since 2006, when it first reprinted cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad originally published by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. Its offices were firebombed in 2011 after it published another cartoon of the Muslim prophet.
Charlie Hebdo cartoonist and editor Stéphane Charbonnier, known simply as Charb, refused to back down in the face of repeated threats, raising the stakes by publishing pictures portraying a naked Muhammad in 2012.
His was the name the gunmen called out as soon as they burst into the morning conference, and he was the first to die in the attack. Among other victims was one of France’s best-known cartoonists, Jean Cabut, a 75-year-old veteran of the national press known universally as Cabu.
Visiting the scene of France’s worst atrocity in decades barely an hour afterwards, a visibly shocked Hollande described it as “a terrorist attack, without a doubt”. The attack was “an act of exceptional barbarism”, he said. In the number of fatalities, it was the worst single terrorist attack France has suffered for at least 50 years.
Along with rallies in solidarity around the world, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie spread across Twitter. Other French publications lined up to offer desk space and editorial support to allow the weekly to continue publication.
It was, said UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, a “direct assault on democracy, media and freedom of expression”. Barack Obama 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.”
In London, UK prime minister David Cameron and his German counterpart, Angela Merkel, were briefed together by the British security service, MI5, at Downing Street. Cameron called the attack “sickening”, and said: “We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.” Merkel described it as an attack on “the core elements of our free democratic culture”.
Witnesses described the gunmen as seeming calm and professional. They held their weapons in a way which suggested they had some form of military training, although when they arrived at the building they were unsure where to go and what stairwell and floor the offices were on.
They forced a female cartoonist to key in the entry code to the building, and stormed into at least two other offices sharing the block demanding to know the whereabouts of Charlie Hebdo.
The attack on the newsroom lasted barely five minutes, police said. On the way out of the building, the attackers ran into a police car that was arriving at the scene and opened fire. One of the two officers who died was Charb’s bodyguard, who was an experienced member of a police VIP protection unit. A third policeman was seriously injured.
In their high-speed getaway they ran down a pedestrian, gravely injuring him, and drove north through busy midday traffic for about three miles before abandoning the now damaged Citroën in the north-eastern 19th arrondissement.
A witness said the gunmen climbed out wielding a rocket launcher and yanked an elderly man out of the car behind. The man insisted on taking his dog out of the car before the attackers drove off, and they let him. They climbed into the Renault Clio, telling bystanders: “You can tell the media we’re from al-Qaida in Yemen.”
The police arrived at the scene a few minutes later but by then the suspects had gone. Roadblocks were set up on all the exit points leading out through the Portes de Paris, the gateways in the old walls of the city. As night fell over Paris, there was still no trace of the killers.