Thursday, January 22, 2015
Je Suis Charlie
A series of terror attacks rock France
It was wednesday morning at the Charlie Hebdo Offices, most of the people that worked there had already arrived and begun to do their daily routine. Nothing was different about the day, just the normal, everyday working day. That would soon change. Around 11:30 a.m. three masked gunman appeared to blocks away from the offices, they began to head down the street, looking for the Offices in an organized fashion. An officer on security detail stood in front of the building,\The Armed men shot him, and proceeded towards the offices. A woman was walking out of the offices at the moment, they stopped her and demanded that she escort them into the building. She did as requested, hoping that her life would be spared. Once they infiltrated the building, carnage ensued.
Overall 12 people would die that day, sparking a man hunt that would lead the deaths of the terrorists involved, and eventually to a shootout in a kosher market. Employees that were in the building describe their experience to reporters, saying that the terrorists barged into the room during an editorial meeting. There they separated the men from the women, then shouted out the names of the people they were about to kill. Dr. Jerald Kierzek was a physician on the scene shortly after the carnage, trying to treat survivors. He explained how the shots were dealt with deadly precision.
“The gunmen said they were avenging the Prophet Mohammed and shouted "Allahu akbar," which translates to "God is great," Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said.
The attack was years in the making, after a controversial comic of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad was released by the magazine. The attack was for justified by the terrorists as vengeance for their prophet. This wasn’t the first attempt to deal damage to the offices, in 2011 a firebomb went off at the office, However no injuries were reported.
After the terrorists managed to escape the offices, the manhunt ensued, turning Paris into a warzone. One terrorist involved with the attack, 18 year old Hamid Morad, turned himself into police later that day. He did so after seeing his name was mentioned Social Media, The next day, Thursday, people dressed in similar attire to those that attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices shot a female police officer in some of the suburbs of Paris. She would later be pronounced dead from her wounds. Later that afternoon, Prime Minister Manuel Valls raised the terror threat level to the highest level in the heat of the manhunt.
Friday morning, French officials were able to catch up to two of the terrorists in a print shop. The two terrorists were held up inside, hoping to die martyrs. Many schools in the area were placed on lockdown, shops were told to close, and residents told to stay inside. The Police would raid the building, were the two terrorists, supposedly brothers, would die in a firefight.
Later that Friday, a gunman linked to the terror attacks from the days previous took people hostage in a kosher market in a Paris suburb. After a standoff with police a gunfight ensued, killing the terrorist, now known at the this point as Amedy Coulibaly, while injuring some police officers. Four hostages were killed, while the other fifteen were able to escape. Apparently, while the hostages were running from the store, an accomplice to the terrorist, known as Hayat Boumediene escaped from the store.
The attacks were brutal, and horrific. But in the amidst the chaos of the three days, came unity. Many French citizens would rally, holding signs saying “Je suis Charlie” which translates to “I am Charlie.” Many called the attacks an attack on free speech, that served to scare the french people, as well as create distrust in the community. However the opposite happened, the French would not succumb to what the terrorists wanted, they would rally for days. A unity rally was then planned, and nearly 3.7 million people attended from several countries. This included many world leaders, who all walked arm in arm down a Paris street. The terrorist's plan had failed in the end, and France had won.
Bastion Zuzu | Staff Writer, January 2015