Wednesday, January 7, 2015

BREAKING: Terrorist Attack/Shooting at Satirical Newspaper in Paris, France [UPDATED: IT'S (not) OVER!]

At least 12 dead, five seriously injured, and a manhunt is on for the three terrorists.

[UPDATE 1: Jan. 7, afternoon] Via the live feed at the Mirror Online, the suspects have reportedly been identified and apprehended 100 miles from the massacre site, but thus far there has been little in the way of confirmation. I won't do them the honor of naming them here.

The suspects were reportedly identified from an ID card one of them left in one of the stolen cars they used and abandoned. They also reportedly initially tried to break into the wrong building, but were told by two maintenance workers that Charlie Hebdo was located two doors over. The terrorists then killed one of the workers for the trouble.

Finally, in a twist that surprises precisely no one, at least one of them has a criminal record that would preclude him from legally owning firearms, and that involved sending jihad fighters to Iraq.[/UPDATE 1]

[UPDATE 2: Jan. 8, 9:25 am PST] Checking the live feeds again, The Guardian is reporting that one of the suspects has turned himself in to police after seeing his name published. He's maintaining his innocence, claiming he was in school at the time (he's 18 years old; it's both plausible and easily verified or discredited).

Several other people have been arrested in connection with the massacre, but the other two masked killers who actually did the shooting are still at large.

The Guardian rotates its live blogs periodically. The link above is still active, but is no longer being updated. Current live-news-blogging as of this update is here, but I'll still be posting updates. Stay tuned. It's going to be a bumpy ride, I think. Continued thoughts and prayers to all those involved, and all of us. [/UPDATE 2]

[UPDATE 3: Jan. 9, 8:50 am PST] No big changes yesterday afternoon, so I didn't post an update as I had intended. The Guardian rolled over their live updates to here, but there was little new information. Suspects still at large, they have links to al-Qaeda, they were born in Paris to Algerian parents (didn't I predict they were Frenchmen?).

Continuing live updates here at The Guardian. I'm typing this as I'm reading through the latest, but as of this posting it looks like French authorities had them pinned down in a printing shop in Dammartin-en-Goele, and they had at least one hostage. Another hostage situation with another set of suspects — linked to the slaying of a policewoman — developed at a kosher market in porte de Vincennes.

At last update, it appears the Charlie Hebdo terrorists died in a police raid at the print shop, and the other suspects have been "neutralised" (reports differ on what this means) in another, seemingly-coordinated raid moments later. The print shop hostage is safe, and five market hostages were freed (no report yet on how many there were). [Addendum, Jan. 9, 11:00 am PST] It's now confirmed that four hostages were killed before the police action, out of a total of 16 taken before the police arrived (some were later released). These are the only confirmed deaths so far, other than the suspects themselves. Also, the kosher market was reportedly targeted because "it was Jewish". [/Addendum]

So it appears to be over, thank God. As much as I would have liked to see the suspects arrested and forced to stand trial, justice has been served. Unless something else big happens, this will be the last update at this site (and if something that big happens, it will probably deserve its own post).

If you've stuck with me so far, thank you for reading, and stay safe. [/UPDATE 3]

[UPDATE 4: Jan. 9 3:25 pm PST] OK, so it's not entirely yet. The girlfriend of the hostage-taker in the kosher market is still at large, wanted in connection to the policewoman slaying, and considered armed and dangerous. This, along with the other suspects' families and close associates who are still being detained, appears to be the last loose end before it truly is "over".

Again, thank you for reading. [/UPDATE 4]

Via the New York Times:
(source: Mirror Online)
PARIS — Three masked gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar!" stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people, including its editor, before escaping in a car. It was France's deadliest postwar terrorist attack.

Security forces were hunting for the gunmen who spoke flawless, unaccented French in the military-style noon-time attack on the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, located near Paris' Bastille monument. The publication's caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims.

President Francois Hollande called the slayings "a terrorist attack without a doubt," and said several other attacks have been thwarted in France "in recent weeks."


There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which also left four people critically wounded, and was condemned by world leaders as an attack on freedom of expression, but praised by supporters of the militant Islamic State group.

Clad all in black with hoods and carrying machine guns, the attackers forced one of the cartoonists arriving at the office building with her young daughter to open the door with a security code.

The staff was in an editorial meeting and the gunmen headed straight for the paper's editor, Stephane Charbonnier — widely known by his pen name Charb — killing him and his police bodyguard first, said Christophe Crepin, a police union spokesman. Minutes later, two men strolled out to a black car waiting below, calmly firing on a police officer, with one gunman shooting him in the head as he writhed on the ground, according to video.
(underline emphasis mine — we'll go over those parts below the fold)
Terrorists about to execute a police officer
(source: CBS News)
Before we go into the details, let me first offer my sincerest condolences to the families and friends of those killed or injured in this cowardly and obscene attack. May God grant them His comfort and peace.

Because initial reports for events like this tend to be … not 100% accurate, I'll be correcting any inconsistencies as I get more information. However, this much seems perfectly clear: 12 people — journalists, cartoonists, editors, and police officers — are dead, all because of some "controversial" cartoons of the devil-worshiping child-rapist "prophet" Mohammed.

12 people dead. For a satirical cartoon.

There's something fundamentally wrong with a world view that not only forbids having a sense of humor about yourself, but also forbids you from allowing others to have a sense of humor, on pain of a brutal and violent death.

To that end, I applaud the staff and editors at the Charlie Hebdo. They've received threats before, and the building has been firebombed over previous cartoons of the devil-worshiping child-rapist "prophet" Mohammed, but they've stuck to their proverbial guns. Their commitment to their satirical art and writing is absolute.

They are paragons of free speech and free expression. As always, the answer to a challenge against free speech — or a demand of censorship — is more speech, not less.

May we all be so bold and steadfast in our beliefs.

(Click through for the political/tactical analysis)

So I highlighted some parts of the NYT article.

The terrorists (I don't like the term "gunmen") "spoke flawless, unaccented French". They are very likely Frenchmen, either raised in or converted to an extremist Muslim faith (my money's on the latter).

"The publication's caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims", and the attack was "praised by supporters of the militant Islamic State group". As I said above, they have no sense of humor about themselves, and cannot abide others having one, on pain of death. Good Lord, my 7-year-old has a thicker skin than that!

"Clad all in black with hoods" — interesting that people who claim to be proud of their faith and unashamed of their actions feel the need to hide their faces while committing a massacre, the cowards — "and carrying machine guns". Based on the photo of the police car, I'm inclined to believe the "automatic weapons" claim on this one. Here's the thing, though: According to France's entry at
  • The regulation of guns in France is categorised as restrictive
  • In France, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law
  • In France, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms
  • In France, only licensed gun owners (for certain arms) may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition
  • In France, the law requires that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register
  • In France, the law requires that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register
  • In France, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is prohibited
So we've got a slew of crimes being committed before the shooting ever started, but I'm sure that full registry will be invaluable to authorities in tracking down the terrorists. [/sarcasm]

On that note, also from, "The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in France is 19,000,000", but "The number of registered guns in France is reported to be 2,802,057". Less than 15% of the civilian-owned firearms in France are registered in compliance with the law. What's the over/under probability that the ones used in this attack are on the list?

The terrorists "forced one of the cartoonists arriving at the office building with her young daughter to open the door with a security code", thereby bypassing and rendering useless the physical security measures that made the building "safe". And quite easily, I might add.

Once inside, "the gunmen [sic] headed straight for the paper's editor, Stephane Charbonnier … killing him and his police bodyguard first". The terrorists had targets in mind, and eliminated all obstacles in their way, including anyone who might have been able to shoot back. After that, everyone else was at their mercy and could be killed at leisure.

"Minutes later...." It was over quickly, before anyone off-site had time to respond. The poor cartoonist lady forced to let them in said it lasted all of about five minutes. I won't drum the "When seconds count..." beat this time, because there was an officer on-site, but he was targeted first.

On their way out, the terrorists engaged another police officer, "calmly firing on [him], with one gunman shooting him in the head as he writhed on the ground" after being wounded. Cold. Clinical.

Terrifying. And brought to you by blind-faith practitioners of the "Religion of Peace".

Again, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those fallen, who chose to NOT submit to censorship demands, and who ultimately paid for their righteous defiance with their lives. God bless them, and all of us.

If you're on Twitter and want to show solidarity, use the "#JeSuisCharlie" (translation: I Am Charlie) hashtag.

Stay safe.


  1. Thanks, Archer.

    I've read reports that say the police assigned to protect Charlie Hebdo were unarmed. By all accounts the two police officers reacted with extreme bravery at the cost of their lives. However, they may have had no ability to effectively resist, and tragically died in vain.

    The mind boggles at the bureaucratic mindset that could assign unarmed men to face a heavily armed threat.

    This is a warning to all Americans. This insanity and depravity is coming to our shores - if it isn't here already.

    1. Some have been saying that it couldn't happen here, with our rich (by comparison) culture of gun ownership and self-reliance. The terrorists wouldn't make it very far.

      My counter is this: Where are all the big nation-wide newspaper and publishing offices located? Places like New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. Virtual gun-free zones, every one, and they don't have the luxury of sparing even one police officer to help protect their facilities.

      It could easily happen here. It very likely WILL happen here. I just hope and pray that people wake up to the possibility and prepare for it before then.