Today, 3 gunman attacked the Paris office of the magazine Charlie Hebdo. The attack took place during an editorial meeting and killed 12 people and injured 11.
According to witnesses, the gunmen had black hoods and Kalashnikov rifles and were heard exclaiming “Allahu Akbar”, Arabic for “God is great”, and “We have avenged Mohammed”. After the attack, the gunmen retreated to the street, where they engaged French police. Two officers were killed and the gunmen escaped in a car. However, they abandoned it several blocks later and hijacked another vehicle to escape. The remain at large.
The attacks have drawn condemnation from all around the world. President Obama “strongly condemn the horrific shooting”. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon described the attack as “a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime. It was also a direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy, on the media and on freedom of expression.” The Arab League has also denounced the attacks.
This is not the first time the Charlie Hebdo has been threatened for what it publishes. In 2011, after featuring a caricature of Mohammed, the building was firebombed with no injuries.
The rise and spread of ISIS has created concern that the group will eventually carry out attacks on the West.. The day before the attack the in newspaper ran a cartoon of the current leader of ISIS,
Another fear is that of ‘lone wolf’ terrorism, where sympathizers carry out attacks instead of ‘official’ group members. This type of terrorism is much harder to prevent and can occur at any time. The recent hostage situation in Sydney seems to be the work of one such ‘lone wolf’.
Many in America have expressed that countries in the Middle East should be dealing with threats like ISIS on their own, and that the time of America presence/intervention is over. But this attack in Paris makes it seem that Western action is inevitable. The question is not if there will be more action taken by the West, but how much. We will all be watching as this develops. InterPol out.