Jan 08, 2015
By Michael Kramer
Defiant French residents held a day of mourning today – for the 12 people slaughtered at the offices of Paris satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” – while a massive manhunt continues for the two heavily armed brothers suspected in the attack – and police fear the pair may strike again.
So far, ninety people have been questioned – and nine people close to the suspects – 32-year-old Cherif Kouachi and his 34-year-old brother Said – have been detained for further interrogation.
The younger Kouachi is a former pizza deliveryman who had a prior terror conviction – but
little is known about the elder brother, whose I-D was found in their abandoned getaway car.
Authorities have now extended France’s maximum terror alert – from Paris to the northern Picardie region – focusing on several towns that could possibly be safe havens for the two suspects.
French President Francois Hollande – joined by residents, tourists and Muslim leaders – has called for tolerance.
Today at noon, the Paris metro came to a standstill – while a crowd fell silent near Notre Dame cathedral – in memory of the attack victims.
Hollande said “France has been struck directly in the heart of its capital, in a place where the spirit of liberty — and thus of resistance — breathed freely.”
Eight journalists, two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor were killed in the attack, and 11 people were wounded, four of them critically.
For years, “Charlie Hebdo” had drawn threats for its depictions of Islam – although it also satirized other religions and political figures.