Police officer killed in second terror attack in Paris. Elite French unit preparing operation
A female police officer, one of two shot in the second terror attack in Paris, Thursday, Jan. 8, has died after being shot in the back in the Malakoff district. There were two gunmen – one seen with an assault rifle and a bullet-proof vest Police captured one shooter, the second escaped – one witness said he fled into the Metro and disappeared on a train, another that he was picked up by a car. He is still at large along with the two Islamist killers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, who shot dead 12 people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris Wednesday. Unnamed sources say the brothers have been located in northern France, reported refueling their car at a gas pump. Elite French police unit in full combat gear is seen preparing for an operation.
Somber crowds massed in the Place de la Republique at midday for a one minute of silence in tribute to the murdered journalists and police officers.
We reported earlier that the youngest of three French nationals being sought by police for magazine massacre, turned himself in to the police, an official at the Paris prosecutor's office said. French police were still in a huge manhunt for two of the attackers who escaped by car after shooting dead some of France's top cartoonists as well as two police officers, amid fears of further attacks. They were quickly identified by an identity card left in the getaway car, as two Paris-born brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, of Algerian origin aged 34 and 32. Cherif was part of an Iraqi jihadi network dismantled in Paris and served 18 months in prison on terror charges in May 2008. The two returned from Syria in summer. The third, Hamyd Mourad, 18, is of no fixed abode or known nationality, turned himself in after seeing is name in social media.
Other arrests are taking place in circles linked to the two brothers.
Police published pictures of the two brothers Thursday morning calling for witnesses and describing the two men as "armed and dangerous."
During the attack, one of the assailants was captured on video outside the building shouting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Greatest) as shots rang out. Another walked over to a police officer lying wounded on the street and shot him point-blank with an AK-47 assault rifle before the two calmly climbed into a black car and drove off.
The third man was not seen in any of the footage and it was not clear if he was directly involved in the attack.
A further four wounded victims are still fighting for their lives.
Tens of thousands joined impromptu rallies across France in memory of the victims and to support freedom of expression. There was no claim of responsibility. However, a witness quoted by 20 Minutes daily newspaper said one of the assailants cried out before getting into his car: "Tell the media that it is al Qaeda in Yemen!"
debkafile reported on Jan. 7 after the attack:
The heavily armed Islamist gunmen who murdered 12 people including police officers at the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine in central Paris Wednesday, Jan. 7, got clear away and are feared by French and other European security agencies to be seeking out more targets. They are on the loose with AK-47 assault guns, a supply of ammo, and possibly a grenade launcher. Another 10 people were injured, 5 critically.
France has raised its terror alert to its highest level as it launches a massive manhunt for three killers. Its European neighbors have also taken precautions.
This act of terror raised a whole new set of concerns. The gunmen conducted themselves in the calm, deliberate manner of trained professional soldiers, rather than crazed suicidal jihadis. Their combat experience was evident, whether from fighting in the Islamic State’s battles in Iraq and Syria or other Islamist arenas.
Three years ago, Charlie Hebdo ran cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad and in the current New Year, poked fun at ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
French security authorities infer that the terrorists, dressed in black and masked, were gunning for predetermined targets from the fact that they carried lists and asked for their targets by name when they passed through the corridors of the magazine building. They then shot the journalists on their list with cold-blooded precision.
According to one unconfirmed report, the Charlie Hebdo editor and lead cartoonist were among the victims.
President Francois Hollande, who arrived on the scene within minutes, commented that “40 people were saved.” They were evidently saved because they did not appear on the gunmen’s death list.
debkafile’s counter-terror sources note that this attack was the first instance in the war of terror, that Islamists murdered Western journalists for their views on religion in the heart of a West European capital.
Shouting "Allahu Akhbar!" and “We have avenged the Prophet’s honor!” theyleft the building and sped past a police force in the street, shooting accurately at the windscreens of their vehicles. They then jumped into a black getaway car which stood waiting with open doors. A short while later, they stole another vehicle and switched cars.
The president called an emergency cabinet meeting shortly after the attack. Our sources note that although French security and intelligence services have maintained a high terror alert for the past month after a series of incidents against Jewish targets, they failed to predict or forestall one of the most spectacular Islamic attacks seen in Europe in recent years.