Terrorism in Paris, France

telegraph

Charlie Hebdo attack: France’s worst terrorist attack in a generation leaves 12 dead

January 7, 2015

With ruthless precision, two masked al-Qaeda gunmen calmly fire eight shots at an unarmed policeman as a terrorist attack of “indescribable barbarity” nears its end. Moments after this image was taken, the policeman, lying mortally wounded on the pavement of a Parisian boulevard, held up a hand in a plea for mercy. A second later, one terrorist jogged past and shot him in the head without breaking stride, just one more act of brutality in an attack that left 12 dead. Earlier two gunmen armed with automatic rifles stormed the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a target for Islamist terrorists since it printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2006 and 2011, and killed cartoonists and satirists whose names were called out as they were shot dead in turn.

“We have avenged the Prophet!” the killers shouted in accentless French as they left the building, having identified themselves as acting on behalf of “al-Qaeda in Yemen”. France’s worst terrorist attack in a generation was also its most meticulously planned; the killers had not only memorised the names of those they wanted to kill, they also planned their getaway well enough to evade the police. A nationwide manhunt is now underway after a raid in Reims proved fruitless. The killers were named in the French media as Said and Chérif Kouachi, brothers aged 34 and 32, and Hamid Mourad, 18. Chérif was reportedly part of an Iraqi jihadist network dismantled in the nearby 19th arrondissement. He was jailed for three years on terror charges in May 2008.

SOURCE = The Telegraph

Thomson Reuters Foundation

France’s Hollande to visit site of newspaper shooting

January 7, 2015

PARIS, Jan 7 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande will go to the scene of a shooting at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then hold an emergency government meeting, a source at his office said on Wednesday. Eleven people were killed and 10 people wounded, five of them seriously, in the shooting in eastern Paris, according to the Paris prefecture. (Reporting By Elizbeth Pineau. Writing by Alexandria Sage. Editing by John Irish.)

Copyright © 2015 Thomson Reuters Foundation

Mirror

Charlie Hebdo Paris shooting took terrorism to another level – these men have killed before

January 7, 2015

The cowardly murders in Paris today have taken terrorism to another level. They made my blood run cold. I have not seen anything like this from a terrorist organisation before. This was military warfare and they had clear targets at Charlie Hebdo, innocent civilians who had done nothing more than use their right to free speech. Watching the footage you can tell these terrorists are calm, collected and well drilled. It is obvious from their movements. You have to be trained repeatedly to keep moving forward when you are engaging an armed target. These men never hesitated, even after they put that police officer down. He was on the floor with his hands in the air but they showed no compassion whatsoever. The killer did not flinch. There was no emotion, no pause for thought. It was cold, mechanical and automatic. You can only do that if you have been drilled again and again. I think these men have killed before. It reminded me of seeing those police officers lined up and executed in Iraq.

Everything was so clinical. You can see the killer’s partner standing giving him covering fire down the street, ready to engage any threats that emerge. And the bullet holes in the windscreen of the police car are grouped very close together. These men have clearly had extensive practice firing an AK47 and are very competent. They even had the presence of mind to leave the car running so they could make a quick getaway and you can see one of them pick something off the floor, possibly a magazine. He is making sure he leaves no evidence.

SOURCE = The Daily Mirror

ABC News

Italy Beefs up Security After France Newspaper Attack

January 7, 2015

© 2015 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.

The Mail UK

Revenge attacks and retaliation begin: Mosques come under fire with guns and ‘grenades’ in France… and kebab shop near another Muslim temple is blown up

January 8, 2015

Revenge attacks on Muslim places of worship have begun in France following yesterday’s massacre at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Mosques, a prayer hall and a kebab shop near a Muslim temple were targeted in the early hours of the morning following the terrorist attack – in which 12 people were murdered by suspected Islamist fanatics. The retaliation comes as French citizens, and the international community, attempt to come to terms with yesterday’s shocking and deadly assault on free speech.

In the city of Le Mans, west of Paris, three blank grenades were thrown at a mosque shortly after midnight – and a bullet was also fired through one of the windows. In the Port-la-Nouvelle district, near Narbonne in southern France, several shots were fired in the direction of a Muslim prayer hall shortly after evening prayers. According to French prosecutors, the hall was empty and no-one was injured. A kebab shop, located near a mosque in the eastern French town of Villefranche-sur-Saone, was also blown up. Again, there were no casualties.

SOURCE = The Daily Mail

 New York Times

Days of Sirens, Fear and Blood: ‘France Is Turned Upside Down’

January 9, 2015

PARIS — It was a day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety. It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around Paris, one that ended with France unsure whether this drama is now truly over or a predictor of more cultural, religious and political violence to come. France has been profoundly shaken by the killings of famous cartoonists and editors on Wednesday in an act of violent religious extremism, followed by an extensive manhunt that could have been staged by Hollywood, and then the bloody denouement on Friday: Muslim extremists killed, hostages dead in a kosher market busy on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath, and others badly wounded.

If this was France’s 9/11, as some said, the shock was that much greater for having come not at the hands of foreigners, but French citizens fluent in the language of Voltaire and Pascal. “We are all worried,” said Arnaud Delaytermoz, 32, a law student from Bordeaux who was in the subway near the market when he heard large explosions and came out to see what had happened. “It was going to happen one moment or another, in Paris, Bordeaux, anywhere.” The images could hardly have been more jarring, especially in a city with Paris’s history. When it became clear that the assailant at the kosher shop had chosen it to target Jews, Rue des Rosiers, a street known for its Jewish shops and restaurants — and for the deportation of its citizens during World War II — was shut down by the police.

SOURCE = The New York Times

Sky News UK

France: Key Moments In Three Days Of Terror

January 10, 2015

Two stand-offs involving hostages came to a violent denouement in Paris and at an industrial building miles away from the country’s main airport. After an hours-long stalemate, gunfire and explosions were heard at a print works in Dammartin-en-Goele, some 30 miles northeast of the city. Two brothers were holed-up there after being hunted by police over the Charlie Hebdo magazine killings in the capital on Wednesday. Said and Cherif Kouachi, 34 and 32, came out firing when police stormed the building they were in and authorities have confirmed they were killed.

Minutes later at a kosher grocery in east Paris, the siege in Paris was also reaching a bloody end with the death of at least three hostages and a jihadist gunman. The Kouachi brothers had a 26-year-old man as a hostage. A local MP told media the “fugitives have said they want to die as martyrs”. Their confrontation with police came after a 48-hour manhunt during which almost 90,000 French police officers and soldiers were mobilised for the manhunt. The brothers had fled the capital on Wednesday after their attack, in which they stormed the offices of the satirical magazine before shooting dead a police officer in the street.

SOURCE = Sky News

New York Times

Huge Show of Solidarity in Paris Against Terrorism

January 11, 2015

PARIS — More than a million people joined over 40 presidents and prime ministers on the streets of Paris on Sunday in the most striking show of solidarity in the West against the threat of Islamic extremism since the Sept. 11 attacks. Responding to terrorist strikes that killed 17 people in France and riveted worldwide attention, Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists and people of all races, ages and political stripes swarmed central Paris beneath a bright blue sky, calling for peace and an end to violent extremism. The Interior Ministry described the demonstration as the largest in modern French history, with as many as 1.6 million people. Many waved the tricolor French flag and brandished pens in raised fists to commemorate those killed Wednesday in an attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, as well as four others killed at a Jewish supermarket on Friday. Thousands hoisted black and white signs bearing three words that have ricocheted through social media as a slogan of unity and defiance: “Je suis Charlie.”

The crowd included Pascale Trager-Lewis, 45, a lawyer, and her husband, Christian Chevalier, 45, who brought their two daughters because they wanted them to witness a historic event. “We came because my husband is an authentic French person; I am Jewish,” Ms. Trager-Lewis said. “My elder daughter’s godmother is a Muslim, and my closest friend almost became a nun. I came for the Jews who were killed, for the freedom of speech, for religious tolerance.” The world leaders — including President François Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain — joined the march in a solemn line. They moved slowly, clasping arms to show solidarity with the victims. The crowd roared in approval.

SOURCE = The New York Times

Aljazeera

France mobilises 10,000 troops after attacks

January 12, 2015

France is mobilising 10,000 troops to boost security, as security forces search for what the French prime minister called a “probable” accomplice to three days of bloodshed in and around the capital. After a crisis meeting on Monday, Manuel Valls said the search is urgent because “the threat is still present” after the attacks that left 17 people dead – journalists at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, hostages at a kosher supermarket and three police officers. All three attackers died on Friday in nearly simultaneous raids by security forces.

Video emerged on Sunday of one of the attackers explaining how the raids would unfold and police want to find the person who shot and posted the video. Valls told BFM television on Monday that France is at war against “terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam”. France will deploy nearly 5,000 security forces and police to protect the 700 Jewish schools in the country, Vall said. Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the total number of deployed forces at high-risk areas across the country will reach 10,000. In the days after the attacks, police launched a search operation to track down the partner of one of the attackers. Since then, it has been revealed that she was probably not in France at the time of the attacks.

SOURCE = Al Jazeera

Happy Belated New Year

Some of you may have noticed the lack of content being posted here over the last two months. I had been engaged with other business which had taken up all my time but my situation has now changed and I will be aiming to keep the site updated at least 3 times a week. These dates will be Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas and the New Year and that you continue to have a great New Year.

Many regards

James Newman

News Updates – November 10th 2014

Russia Herald

US Alarmed Over Reports of Russian Buildup in E. Ukraine

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International Business Times

Israel: Arabs in Favour of Palestinian State ‘Can Move to Gaza’ says PM Netanyahu

Israeli Arabs who are against Israel and in favour of the creation of a Palestinian state can move to Palestinian territory or Gaza, Israel’s Prime Minister has said. Benjamin Netanyahu made the comment after a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli soldier in Tel-Aviv. Police said it could be a possible terrorist attack. “To all those who demonstrate against Israel and in favour of a Palestinian state, I say something simple: I invite you to move there; we won’t give you any problem,” Netanyahu said, during a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction. “The terrorists incite and want to evict us from everywhere,” he said. “They don’t want us in Jerusalem, not in Tel Aviv and not anywhere”.

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Thomson Reuters Foundation

Egypt considers tighter curbs on media coverage of military

CAIRO, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Egypt is drafting a law tightening restrictions on media coverage of the armed forces, government and judicial sources said, alarming journalists who believe this would end three years of relative press freedom. One source played down any threat to freedoms won after the 2011 overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, saying legislation under discussion would restrict only reporting that endangers national security while Egypt fights Islamist militants. But journalists fear that if implemented, it would end general coverage of the military which as the main pillar of the Egyptian state wields major political and economic influence.

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Thomson Reuters Foundation

Syria’s Assad says UN envoy’s local ceasefire bid “worth studying” -state media

BEIRUT, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday that a proposal by an international peace mediator to implement local ceasefires starting in the northern city of Aleppo was “worth studying”, state media said. United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura has cited the northern city of Aleppo as an obvious candidate for “incremental freeze zones” to stop localised fighting and allow better access to aid. “(Assad) considered the de Mistura initiative worth studying and trying to work on in order to attain its aims to return security to the city of Aleppo,” the state news agency said.

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“Gaza Strip: 2-Year-Old Girl and Woman Killed in Israeli Airstrike as Ceasefire Falters”

International Business Times

August 19, 2014

A two-year-old Palestinian girl and a woman, 40, are believed to have become the first fatalities of the Gaza conflict since the ceasefire began to falter. According to Ashraf al Kidra, a spokesman for local emergency services, both victims died when a house was destroyed by a blast in Gaza City. Thousands of Gaza residents are said to have fled to shelters as Israel launched its assault. Israel says it responded following rockets launched by militants from Gaza. Two were shot down by the Iron Dome defence system and one is said to have landed in Tel Aviv but caused no injuries. Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said: “This rocket attack was a grave and direct violation of the ceasefire. The Cairo talks were based on an agreed premise of a total cessation of hostilities. When Hamas breaks the ceasefire, they also break the premise for the Cairo talks. Accordingly, the Israeli team has been called back.”

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“Gaza crisis: 13 Israeli soldiers, scores of Gazans killed”

bbc

July 21, 2014

Israel and Gaza have both suffered their bloodiest day since the beginning of the current offensive. Israel says that 13 of its soldiers died since Saturday night, the biggest one-day loss for its army in years. At least 87 Gazans were reported killed on Sunday – 60 of them in the district of Shejaiya alone. The total death toll in Gaza now stands at more than 425. Hamas said on Sunday evening that it had captured an Israeli soldier, but Israel has issued a denial. “There’s no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumours are untrue,” said Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor. Celebratory gunfire and shouts could be heard in Gaza City after the claim was made. Sunday’s death toll for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is higher than that sustained by the IDF during the entire three-week duration of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, the last time that Israel sent ground troops into Gaza.

It brings the number of Israeli soldiers killed in the current offensive to 18. The deaths of so many soldiers on a single day will shock Israeli society, the BBC’s Chris Morris reports from southern Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue operations in Gaza “as much as we need to” despite the casualties. He said the Israeli government felt “deep pain” over deaths of its soldiers, and that Hamas, not Israel was responsible for the escalation in Gaza. The UN Security Council is due to meet on Sunday evening in emergency session to discuss the situation. US Secretary of State John Kerry is due to travel to the Egyptian capital Cairo on Monday to support regional efforts to reach a ceasefire.

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Russian Seizes Authority Over Ukraine Rebels

New York Times

July 10, 2014

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — Late one afternoon last month, as separatist militia fighters and Ukrainian forces exchanged fire, a small-time thief by the name of Aleksei B. Pichko left his home on the southern edge of Slovyansk and headed for an abandoned residence at 17 Sadovaya Street. He had been drinking, and wanted to “see what could be stolen from there,” according to documents recovered at the rebel headquarters after their retreat over the weekend. Mr. Pichko, 30, never returned. An order signed and stamped by the rebels’ powerful commander, Igor Strelkov, detailed Mr. Pichko’s fate: death by firing squad for pilfering a pair of pants and two shirts. “They told me they took him to the S.B.U.,” said his mother, Maria Pichko, referring to the headquarters in this former separatist stronghold. “I don’t know anything more.”

The death sentence makes reference to a Stalin-era Soviet law, and in it Mr. Strelkov warns ominously that crimes “committed in the zone of military activity will continue to be punished ruthlessly and decisively.” Mr. Strelkov, a native Muscovite whose real name is Igor Girkin, is a figure as mysterious as he is fearsome. On Thursday, he made his first public appearance after months of fighting, attending a news conference in the provincial capital of Donetsk alongside Alexander Borodai, another Russian citizen leading the uprising here.

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Ukraine unrest: Dozens die as Donetsk airport retaken – May 27, 2014

bbc

May 27, 2014

Ukraine’s interior ministry says the military is now in full control of the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk after a day of bloody clashes. More than 30 pro-Russia separatists were reported killed after an attempt to seize the airport early on Monday. New President Petro Poroshenko vowed to tackle the eastern uprising in hours, not months. Russia has called for an immediate end to military action. Meanwhile, the OSCE says it has lost contact with a monitoring team. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said four of its monitors were on a routine mission east of Donetsk when they were stopped at a checkpoint at about 18:00 (16:00 GMT) on Monday.

 

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