Demonstrators make their way along Boulevard Voltaire in a unity rally in Paris following recent terror attacks.
Credit: Christopher Furlong


Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, the suspected assailants in Wednesday's mass shooting in Paris, were killed on Friday during a raid north of Paris. Amedy Coulibaly was also killed during a hostage siege at a kosher market in the city that left four others dead.

Hayat Boumeddiene — a suspect in the week's crimes who reportedly has connections to the Kouachi brothers — is believed to have fled France.

 

GLOBALPOST LIVE BLOG: FRANCE ON HIGH ALERT BUT DEFIANT

UPDATE: 01/11/15 9:26 PM ET

#JeNeSuisPasCharlie: Charlie Hebdo cartoonist says he 'vomits' on fake new friends

Reuters — The world outpouring of sympathy after the deadly "Charlie Hebdo" attack has touched many in France but some either detect a note of hypocrisy or feel squeamish about supporting a satirical weekly that antagonized many.

President Francois Hollande's government insists freedom of expression must not be curtailed out of fear of further attacks, and authorities have got fully behind a spontaneous "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") social media campaign of solidarity.

But skepticism has emerged on the one hand from surviving Charlie Hebdo workers who reject some of the support for them as insincere; from others who found the weekly plain offensive; and others who question the human rights records of the 40-plus world leaders taking part in Sunday's unity march in Paris.

For veteran Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Bernard Holtrop, the problem is with some of the paper's new "friends."

Holtrop, famous in France under the name of Willem, said he was happy if people worldwide marched to defend freedom of speech. But asked about support from Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders, he said: “We vomit on all those people who are suddenly saying they are our friends."

"We’ve got a lot of new friends — the pope, Queen Elizabeth, Putin. I’ve got to laugh about that," he said. Willem says he is alive only because he does not like going to weekly staff meetings and was not in the Paris office when two gunman erupted and killed his colleagues and two policemen.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 9:05 PM ET

Ce soir, Clooney est Charlie

The Paris rally continued onto the red carpet in Hollywood on Sunday night, where some stars arriving to the Golden Globes used the limelight to add their support, Reuters reported.

"It is a great reminder for all of us to stand by the ideal of free speech, very difficult to maintain that ideal but a good one to aim toward," Helen Mirren told journalists. The veteran actress had a pen attached to her gown.

George Clooney, who has become a prominent humanitarian advocate in recent years, wore a "Je Suis Charlie" lapel pin.

And then there was co-host Tina Fey, who took everybody down a notch when she reminded the crowd of Hollywood's most recent case of self-censorship.

"Tonight we are celebrating all TV shows we know and love and all the movies North Korea was OK with," she said.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 6:15 PM ET

The United States: Underrepresented at the Paris march?

Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris for meetings on Sunday, but he didn't make it to the high-profile march. That was a surprise, because Holder was a confirmed participant as of Saturday.

What gives? The US Embassy didn't say, but it noted that the United States was represented by its ambassador to France, Jane Hartley. President Obama never had plans to attend.

And now, predictably, #ReasonsObamaMissedFranceRally is trending on Twitter.

"Some observers questioned why the US presence was outranked by so many other countries in the demonstration, which also championed the principle of freedom of expression after Wednesday's massacre in Paris at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo," AFP wrote.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 5:19 PM ET

Rallies from Buenos Aires to New York, Brussels to Berlin and Gaza to Beirut

From AFP:

Tens of thousands of people rallied worldwide in solidarity with France on Sunday. From Berlin to London and Jerusalem to Beirut, crowds waved French flags and sang the anthem La Marseillaise following the Islamist attacks that killed 17 people.

Christians, Muslims and Jews alike took part in the rallies, held as around 2.5 million people took to the streets in unity marches in France.

In Israel, where four French Jews killed in a Paris supermarket attack will be buried, more than 500 people gathered in Jerusalem in front of a screen reading in French "Jerusalem is Charlie."

Dozens of Palestinians also held a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, waving Palestinian and French flags and holding up banners reading "Palestine stands with France against terrorism."

Hamas-run Gaza paid tribute to the victims during a candlelit vigil in the enclave.

In Europe one of the biggest rallies was in Berlin where 18,000 people marched wearing T-shirts saying "Checkpoint Charlie Hebdo" — a reference to the Cold War-era Checkpoint Charlie in the once-divided German city.

The march comes days after Germany's new anti-Islamic Pegida movement drew 35,000 into the streets of Dresden.

In Brussels, Belgian cartoonist Philippe Gelluck was in a crowd of 20,000, saying he was marching "in honour of my fallen friends" at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

"I know the Muslim community feels wounded and humiliated by these cartoons, but they were not taking aim at Islam but at fundamentalism," he said.

In Beirut, GlobalPost regional editor and senior correspondent Richard Hall visited a rally at Samir Kassir Square.

"It was fitting that Lebanon’s own rally in support of the murdered Charlie Hebdo journalists took place in Samir Kassir Square," he wrote.

"The small park in downtown Beirut, lined with trees full of birds surrounding a fountain, takes its name from a Lebanese journalist who was assassinated in 2005. He was killed by a bomb placed under the driver’s seat of his car, parked outside of his home in the east of the city."

 

A placard with the names of murdered Lebanese journalists at #jesuischarlie rally in #Beirut.

A photo posted by Richard Hall (@_richardhall) on

While people in Lebanon sympathize with the #JeSuisCharlie cause, there are mixed feelings about Charlie Hebdo's offensive brand of satire.

"There were those who could not bring themselves to attend an event in solidarity with a magazine that published what in their view was offensive, even racist, material," wrote Hall.

"Others pointed out that Lebanon faces violence on a similar scale all the time. Where were the rallies and hashtags for victims of terror at home?"

Read the rest of his

A placard with the names of murdered Lebanese journalists at #jesuischarlie rally in #Beirut.

A photo posted by Richard Hall (@_richardhall) on

" target="_blank">report from Beirut.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 1:43 PM ET

Catching up on Sunday's news

While most news cameras were trained on the heart of Paris today, there were less obvious developments in the investigations into the attacks last week on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish market in Paris, as well as into two shootings.

AFP rounded up the day's main headlines:

- A German tabloid in the northern port city of Hamburg that reprinted Mohammed cartoons from Charlie Hebdo was the target of a firebombing in which no one is hurt.

- EU and US security ministers met at France's interior ministry to work out a joint response to the threat of jihadist attacks.

- A man resembling Amedy Coulibaly claims to be a member of the Islamic State group in a posthumous video released online.

- Prosecutors say they have linked Coulibaly to the shooting of a jogger in southern Paris just hours after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

- More than a million people flood Paris in a rally against terrorism, in what the interior ministry says is a gathering of "unprecedented" magnitude. They are led by dozens of world leaders who link arms and hold a minute's silence for the victims.

- More than one million also join rallies in other French towns, while tens of thousands rally in cities across Europe and elsewhere, including Berlin, Brussels and Vienna.

Check out a complete timeline of the events since Wednesday.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 12:53 PM ET

A historic and peaceful day

PARIS — The French interior minister has said that the turnout for today's march is "unprecedented," and French officials are calling it the biggest gathering in the city's history. Media on the scene have reported well over a million marchers, while some local papers estimate as many as two million.

The overall atmosphere in Paris today has been one of spirited reverence and mourning, marked by cheering and chanting but also periods of silence. At 6:30 p.m. local time, streets along and around the route of the march are still full, with some people headed home, others still headed toward the Place de la Nation.

At the Bastille, a historic symbol of liberty, supporters gathered on the column underneath a large red heart. Pauline Dujancourt, a French student, held a sign with the oft-cited quote by Voltaire: "I do not agree with what you have to say but I defend to the death your right to say it."

"It's in English so everyone can understand it," she said. "I'm here for freedom of expression and as an homage to the victims of this week. The atmosphere is very warm, I don't feel at all in danger like at some protests."

Sebastien Blanchouin, a police officer stationed on a street between the Bastille and the Place de la Nation, said the ambiance has been "calm and serene, a last homage to the victims."

"People have been very respectful to the police — as though they realize we're not just here to give them tickets but to defend them," he said. A teenager on the column of the Bastille held up a sign expressing thanks to police and special forces.

The day has seen marches and vigils across the nation. A journalist in Lyon reported a reverent atmosphere in the city, describing it as intense, serious, and calm.

— Marie Doezema

UPDATE: 01/11/15 12:09 PM ET

Are you sure you're Charlie, prime minister?

French paper Le Monde is reporting as many as two million people thronged Paris streets today as part of a unity march and rally. At the front of that crowd were dozens of world leaders, haltingly walking arm-in-arm, followed closely by families of the 17 victims killed in France this week.

Today at least, they're walking the walk for freedom of expression — but do they talk the talk back home?

Cairo-based journalist Louisa Loveluck points out that some of the leaders who attended the geopolitical show of force on Sunday have dismal records on free speech and press freedom in the countries they lead:

Russia is another country represented at the march in which the press has faced even greater restrictions in recent months.

The solidarity event attracted some officials who usually avoid each other and whose relations are highly strained — like Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Abbas, and Russia's Sergei Lavrov and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko.

The unity rally has largely stuck to the quintessential French themes of "liberty, equality, and fraternity," but many leaders and civilians alike said they were joining the march to take a stand against terror. The #JeSuisCharlie hashtag, also the phrase seen at demonstations all over the world, has been used millions of times since last week. Reports say it's one of the most popular hashtags of all time.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 11:35 AM ET

The sun is setting in France, but rally continues

PARIS — The march is dispersing throughout the city as supporters continue to make their way toward the Place de la Nation — crowds have already gathered at the endpoint.

Earlier in the day, at the beginning of the march, President Francois Hollande offered weeping family members of the victims and staff members of Charlie Hebdo words of condolence and hugs.

World leaders including Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and UK Prime Minister David Cameron marched arm in arm, surrounded by security forces. The proximity of Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas was striking.

In the crowd, people are waving homemade signs and banners, many wearing yarmulkes and headscarves. People along the route of the march have gathered on balconies draped in French flags, singing, taking pictures, and chanting along with the crowd.

— Marie Doezema

UPDATE: 01/11/15 11:00 AM ET

The city feels like it has become the march

PARIS — Sun and blue sky has returned as helicopters fly overhead. The march is underway, moving toward the Place de la Nation. Chants of “Charlie” are mixed with people singing the national anthem of France, the Marseillaise.

The overall feeling is peaceful, if packed. The crowd is like a river, following the planned itinerary of the march but breaking off into smaller tributaries, filling side streets, throughout surrounding neighborhoods. The city feels like it has become the march.

The statue at the center of the Place de la Republique is covered in signs. One reads, “Islam is peace, it’s not barbarism.” Another: “Charlie — I think therefore I am.”

Other signs in the crowd are more personal or pointed. One man wears a poem by 20th-century French writer Louis Aragon on his chest. Another group holds up a sign warning: “Wake up — Qatar finances the Islamic State.”

— Marie Doezema

UPDATE: 01/11/15 10:05 AM ET

German paper that ran Charlie Hebdo cartoons firebombed

AFP — A German tabloid that paid tribute to those killed at Charlie Hebdo by reprinting cartoons from the French satirical paper mocking the Prophet Muhammad was targeted in a firebombing Sunday, police said.

With security services on high alert after a jihadist killing spree in Paris, police in the northern German port city of Hamburg said no one was at the headquarters of the regional daily Hamburger Morgenpost at the time of the attack, which caused only slight damage.

Hamburg police said it was "too soon" to tell whether there was a connection between the Charlie Hebdo tribute and the firebombing, which would mark the first revenge attack over the cartoons since Wednesday's massacre of 12 people at the French weekly.

The Hamburger Morgenpost, known locally as the MOPO, had splashed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons on its front page after the murders at the Paris publication, running the headline "This much freedom must be possible!"

Police said the attack had occurred at about 1:20 a.m. GMT and that two men seen acting suspiciously near the scene were detained.

Hamburg is Germany's second city, with a population of around 2.4 million.

The Hamburg firebombing comes at a time of heightened tensions over the rise of a new anti-Islamic movement in Germany.

A right-wing populist group called "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident"(PEGIDA), has called for its weekly march in the eastern city of Dresden Monday to be dedicated to "the victims of terrorism in Paris."

Justice Minister Heiko Maas accused the group of trying to exploit the killings and urged it to call off its rally.

"The victims do not deserve to be misused by rabble-rousers like these," he told the daily Bild.

On Saturday about 35,000 people, organizers said, took to the streets in Dresden against PEGIDA.

Several Muslim groups have called a silent march in Berlin on Monday to denounce violence and call for social cohesion.

The Associated Press captured footage of damage from the firebomb:

UPDATE: 01/10/15 9:49 AM ET

Images of the day: World leaders inch along Paris route arm-in-arm

UPDATE: 01/11/15 9:29 AM ET

Je suis ______: One march, many groups

Marie Doezema reports from Paris that signs of “Je suis Juif” — "I am Jewish" — have joined “Je suis Charlie.” Other signs read “I am a cop” — representing solidarity with the officers killed in attacks Wednesday and Thursday.

Doezema interviewed one marcher:

Beatrice Algazi, a theater director, holds a sign in the shape of a pencil reading, “Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Cacher,” the name of the kosher supermarket where four hostages were killed on Friday.

She explains why she’s at the march today: “Because I’m in shock,” she says. “It’s not so much about linking this to something political, but to the men who were drawing at a small paper. I think about them a lot. I see their faces.

“I’m also here because I’m Jewish. The other attack at the supermarket is not something new — it’s been happening for a while. I’m also used to it in France, I wasn’t surprised.”

Beatrice Algazi.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 9:00 AM ET

Packed crowds about to begin Paris march

A half hour before the march was to begin, Marie Doezema wrote from Paris:

The air is heavy with anticipation and a soft rain is falling as crowds await the march. It's almost impossible to move in the crowds in and surrounding the place de la Republique. Crowds are also gathering close to the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, about a ten minute walk away.

UPDATE: 01/11/15 7:32 AM ET

French and global guests rally around principles of free expression

Marie Doezema is attending the march for GlobalPost in Paris today and filing reports. Here's her first of the morning:

PARIS, France — At 1:30 p.m. local time La Place de la République is already full. Streams of people are walking toward the square from surrounding streets and neighborhoods.

Due to the high number of people estimated to attend (between 700,000 and one million), the 3 p.m. march will follow two itineraries, both starting at La Place de la Republique and ending at La Place de la Nation. Heads of state in attendance will be marching at the front for the first 30 minutes. Families of the victims will also be marching near the front.

Transport is free on trains coming into Paris and within the city, and solidarity marches are planned across France today.

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, not invited to the Paris march, met with President Francois Hollande briefly on Saturday. She also published a statement on the National Front website encouraging members to demonstrate everywhere across France — except Paris.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith and the Union of Islamic Organizations in France called for Muslim citizens to join the march en masse.

Synagogues in the nearby Marais are under heavy police protection. "We are all Charlie, we are all police, we are all Jew of France," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said before today's rally. "France without Jews is not France."

Members of the Jewish community demonstrated last night in Paris to honor the victims of the shootings on Friday at a kosher supermarket, where Amedy Coulibaly was suspected of taking hostages. He was killed on Friday and an associate of his, considered armed and dangerous, is at large and believed to have left the country.

On Sunday audio was released of Coulibaly speaking with hostages inside the market, according to a reporter who gathered the recorting over the phone. CNN has an English translation of the call, in which the speakers are heard debating the value of paying taxes.

— Marie Doezema

UPDATE: 01/10/15 3:17 PM ET

Sunday's rally is going to be huge

More than a million people are expected to flood the streets of Paris on Sunday for a solidarity march. After a week of violence and terror fears, it sounds like a security nightmare — but that hasn't stopped world leaders from signing on in support. Here's a list of the confirmed attendees, compiled by AFP:

Albania -- Prime Minister Edi Rama

Algeria -- Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra

Austria -- Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz

Belgium -- Prime Minister Charles Michel

Benin -- President Thomas Boni Yayi

Britain -- Prime Minister David Cameron

Bulgaria -- Prime Minister Boyko Borisov

Canada -- Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney

Croatia -- Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic

Czech -- Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka

Denmark -- Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Gabon -- President Ali Bongo Ondimba

Georgia -- Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili

Germany -- Chancellor Angela Merkel

Greece -- Prime Minister Antonis Samaras

Hungary -- Prime Minister Viktor Orban

Israel -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Italy -- Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

Jordan -- King Abdullah II and Queen Rania

Latvia -- Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma

Mali -- President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

Niger -- President Mahamadou Issoufou

Portugal -- Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho

Romania -- President Klaus Iohannis

Russia -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Spain -- Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy

Switzerland -- President Simonetta Sommaruga

The Netherlands -- Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Tunisia -- Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa

Turkey -- Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

United Arab Emirates -- Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan

Ukraine -- President Petro Poroshenko

United States -- Attorney General Eric Holder

European Commission -- President Jean-Claude Juncker

European Parliament -- President Martin Schulz

European Union -- President Donald Tusk

NATO -- Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

UPDATE: 01/10/15 2:24 PM ET

Connecting the suspects to each other and to terror networks

The New York Times has an excellent map of the connections between Chérif and Said Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly — the three suspects killed this week during separate police raids to apprehend them — and their connections to extremists. Check it out here.

UPDATE: 01/10/15 1:26 PM ET

Unverified reports suggest suspect has left France

Hayat Boumeddiene was originally reported to have been at the scene of a hostage-taking in Paris on Friday, but new reports Saturday suggest she may have left France more than a week ago.

USA Today writes: "Some French media as well as CNN and the Wall Street Journal, citing intelligence sources, are reporting Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, left for Syria as early as Jan. 2, traveling via Turkey. The information could not be independently confirmed."

A police source told AFP that Boumeddiene was likely in Turkey on Thursday and Friday, when her partner Amedy Coulibaly allegedly killed a policewoman and several hostages in two confrontations. Coulibaly was killed by security forces in Paris on Friday.

Watch this space for updates.

UPDATE: 01/10/15 12:33 PM ET

Yemenis have a domestic terror problem

The same Al Qaeda branch that has told reporters it directed the Paris attacks is denying responsibility for a massive bombing that killed 40 people in Yemen's capital on Wednesday. AFP reports:

Hundreds of Yemenis took to the streets of Sanaa Saturday to protest attacks by Al-Qaeda, including a bombing at a police academy that killed dozens.

The demonstration organised by a youth group calling itself the Rafd (Rejection) Movement also protested against the presence of Shiite militiamen in Sanaa and other parts of the country, an AFP reporter said.

The protesters rallied outside the police academy where a car bomb tore through dozens of Yemenis Wednesday as the were lined up to enrol as recruits, killing 40 people and wounding 71.

Yemen's top security body has blamed Al Qaeda for the attack and security forces have arrested five suspects, but a leader of the group had denied the organization was involved.

"Al Qaeda has nothing to do with the incident," Sheikh Saleh Abdel Ilah al-Dahab said on Twitter, accusing the Shiite Huthi militia that overran Sanaa in September of being behind the bombing.

Impoverished Yemen has been hit by a wave of violence in recent months, with the powerful Shiite militia clashing with Sunni tribal forces and the country's branch of Al Qaeda.

 

View image | Yemeni security forces and bystanders surround charred bodies lying on the ground at the site of a car bomb explosion outside a police academy on Jan. 7, 2015. The attack struck as dozens of lined up to join the police academy in central Sanaa, official news agency Saba said.

Read the rest of the story from AFP.

UPDATE: 01/10/15 11:57 AM ET

Prime minister says France is at war against 'terrorism' and 'radical Islam'

The New York Times reports on Manuel Valls' comments during a speech today south of Paris: “It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity.”

UPDATE: 01/10/15 11:14 AM ET

Extra officers deployed amid search for suspect Hayat Boumeddiene

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says France's terror alert will remain at its highest level for the next several weeks.

Cazeneuve attended an emergency meeting of top officials — including President Francois Holland, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Justice Minister Christiane Taubira — at the presidential palace in Paris on Saturday in the midst of a hunt for a fourth suspect in this week's bloody, apparently religiously motivated, attacks.

Hundreds of extra officers have been deployed in the search for Hayat Boumeddiene and to secure the French capital.



The BBC estimates more than 200,000 people have already demonstrated in France this week in shows of solidarity with the slain cartoonists and journalists at Charlie Hebdo, a French magazine known for its scathing satire. Hundreds of thousands more are expected for Sunday's high-profile march.

UPDATE: 01/10/15 9:35 AM ET

Al Qaeda in Yemen issues a new threat

AFP reports that a top official with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) threatened France with fresh attacks on Friday, according to the SITE monitoring group, which tracks terror networks worldwide.

"It is better for you to stop your aggression against the Muslims, so perhaps you will live safely. If you refuse but to wage war, then wait for the glad tiding," Harith al-Nadhari was quoted as saying in a video.

Al-Nadhari didn't explicitly claim responsibility for the three days of bloodshed in France that left 17 victims and three suspects dead this week.

However the Associated Press and the Intercept both published statements from a puported Al Qaeda source on Friday stating that AQAP had directed the mass shooting at Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

This post includes contributions from this AFP story.

UPDATE: 01/10/15 9:29 AM ET

Je Suis Charlie is a major online business now

As AFP reports, there's now a big market for products bearing "Je Suis Charlie," this week's rallying cry of solidarity after the attack on magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead. Products from T-shirts to mugs to stickers are "being sold widely online, presenting a moral quandary for ecommerce stores after this week's deadly attacks in Paris."

Some retailers aren't buying in as a matter of principle. Others are donating portions of profits from the merchandise to groups supporting the survivors of the attacks or fighting terror.

And then there are the cold hard capitalists.

Read more from AFP.

UPDATE: 01/10/15 9:08 AM ET

France's most-wanted woman: Hayat Boumeddiene

AFP —  A crossbow in her hands and covered head-to-toe in a black niqab that leaves only her eyes visible — that is the image now circulating of France's most-wanted woman: Hayat Boumeddiene.

The 26-year-old is partner to Amedy Coulibaly, one of the three gunmen shot dead by police on Friday after three days of mayhem in France.

The photo, first published by Le Monde newspaper, contrasts with the one French police issued in its public appeal to locate her following Friday's bloody drama, in which Coulibaly was killed by police commandos after he took hostages in a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

The mugshot provided by the police shows a sleepy-eyed young woman, her face and brown hair showing, whom they had questioned in 2010 about Coulibaly.

The police notice, however, warns that she is considered "armed and dangerous."

She is suspected of being Coulibaly's accomplice in the murder of a policewoman in southern Paris on Thursday, during a massive manhunt for two brothers who a day earlier massacred 12 people at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Police also suspect she might have had a hand in Coulibaly's supermarket hostage-taking, though she was not identified among the dead or wounded.

Read more.

UPDATE: 01/09/15 5:37 PM ET

Al Qaeda in Yemen claims responsibility for attack

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, on Friday said they were behind Wednesday's attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, several outlets are reporting.

A professed member (or members) of the group provided statements to the Associated Press and the Intercept claiming responsibility. From the Intercept's statement:

"Some ask the relationship between Al-Qaeda Organization and the (brothers) who carried out the #CharlieHebdo operation. Was it direct? Was the operation supervised by the Al-Qaeda wing in the Arabian Peninsula?

"The leadership of #AQAP directed the operation, and they have chosen their target carefully as a revenge for the honor of Prophet (pbuh)

"The target was in France in particular because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations."

The AP received identical language from their source:

"The leadership of AQAP directed the operations and they have chosen their target carefully as revenge for the honor of the prophet," the al-Qaida member said. He said France was targeted "because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations."

Western intelligence officials believe the slain suspects, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, had received training from Al Qaeda in Yemen — a country French intelligence has failed to monitor closely, instead focusing on threats in North Africa, Syria and Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The AP noted that if AQAP is confirmed to be behind the attack, it "would be the first time al-Qaida's branch in Yemen has successfully carried out an operation in the West after at least two earlier attempts."

To catch up on this story, check out our live blog from the week.

 

 

#color { border-color:#bbbbbb; border-style:solid; border-width:1px; background-color:#F8F8F8; float:center; margin-left: 5px; , , , margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 30px; line-height:14px display:block; padding: 15px; }

Related Stories