Charlie Hebdo Attack Suspects Named

EU | January 8, 2015, Thursday // 07:47|  views

Cherif Kouachi, 32, (L) and his brother Said Kouachi, 34, (R) are suspected in connection with the shooting attack at the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris, France, 07 January 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Two brothers are suspected by police to have committed the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Authorities issued photos of Cherif and Said Kouachi, who are still being hunted down, with security forces having sought them mostly to the north of Paris.

Experts are unanimous the two borthers have been well trained and experienced enough to carry out the terror attack, with Cherif Kouachi being described in the French media as a militant sentenced to three years of imprisonment in 2008 for being a member of a jihadist group sending fighters to Iraq.

As many as 12 people died in the attack, including eight journalists (Editor-in-Chief Stephane Charbonnier was among them) and three police officers. The heavily armed masked gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) who opened fire on the magazine’s staffers earlier on Wednesday, presumably to avenge its depiction of Islam in satirical cartoons.

Shortly before the attack, the magazine had released on Twitter a cartoon of Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Officials announced later on Wednesday the number of those wounded was eleven, and not ten.

Thursday, January 8, is a day of mourning in France, with national flags across the country lowered half-mast. A minute's silence will be observed at noon.

Leaders of most religious communities in France are set to meet later during the day and issue a joint statement.

A third suspect, reportedly named Hamyd Mourad, 18, meanwhile surrendered to police, but was subsequently released after his friends confirmed he was at school at the time when the attack was carried out.

On Thursday night, thousands gathered in a number of cities across France and the rest of Europe, but also in the US, to pay tribute to the victims.

People hold placards of newspaper Charlie Hebdo during a silent gathering in Toulouse, southern France, 07 January 2015

An atrium screen inside the Newseum reads `Je Suis Charlie` (I am Charlie) during a vigil for the victims of the attack on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo outside the Newseum in Washington, DC

Place de la Republique, in Paris, saw the biggest demonstration, but some 20 000 also gathered in Lyon and Toulouse, according to police.

There was also a vigil in Sofia, where volunteers laid flowers at the French Embassy's entrance.

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Tags: Charlied Hebdo, France, attack, Islam, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Cherif Kouachi, Said Kouachi


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