About 11 hours after the killings took place at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris, a lone terrorist from the event walked into a police station and surrendered. The newspaper is notorious for mocking many religions, particularly Islam. During the terrorist attack, three men forced their way in, then fatally shot 12 people and wounded another 11. This activated a massive manhunt in Paris.
The one that surrendered to the police was the youngest of the three terrorists. He is 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad. He claims that he decided to turn himself in after seeing his name on social media. At 11:00 pm local time, Hamyd surrendered at a police station that was about 145 miles northeast of Paris in Charleville-Mézières.
The other two attackers are still being hunted by the police. They have been identified as Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi. Both of the men are in their 30s and they are natives of Paris, France but of Algerian descent. One thing that tipped the police as to their identities is that one of them left their ID card in the vehicle they abandoned. Their pictures have since been released to the police nationwide.
Beside the one terrorist who surrendered to the police in Paris, the other two responsible for the killings have already been known to police. Cherif Kouachi in particular was on a national watch list and he had served a jail term of 18 months starting in 2008 for recruiting seven men for Al Qaeda. Both of the brothers returned from fighting in Syria this past summer.
When the three attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices, the men were armed with AK-47s and one had a rocket launcher. They went into the offices seeking to kill specific people, chiefly those responsible for creating the cartoons about Mohammed. They even asked for the cartoonists by name.
The whole terrorist attack and the multiple Paris killings at the Hebdo offices took place in less than five minutes and why one surrendered later is still unknown. The editor of the newspaper, Gerard Biard, escaped death simply because he was in London at the time. As they left the building to escape, two police officers were killed. The terrorists also yelled that they had killed Charlie Hebdo and avenged them for Allah.
It was noted in videos afterward that the terrorists appeared to be professional. After watching a video of the terrorist brothers, one retired veteran, Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, described them as being highly trained “terrorist commandos.”
In response to the killings at the magazine, many people in France chose to show unity with those killed. Many Parisians lit candles and were holding signs that said “I am Charlie,” or “Charlie! Liberty!” They also put up some candles, signs and posters at the three statues which stood for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. These three elements make up the bedrock values of the French people.
France has also declared Thursday to be a day of national mourning and there was a moment of silence at the noon hour. Flags in France will fly at half-staff for the next three days.
The terrorism threat level has been raised in response to the terrorist attack to its highest level. This means government security forces will be deployed at popular gathering places such as shopping centers, religious buildings and at the major transportation networks near Paris.
Even though one of the terrorists involved in the Paris killings at Hebdo surrendered, the terrorist brothers are still on the loose. The police thought they had them at a town about 90 miles northeast of Paris, but no arrests were made in the incident.
By Mike Valles