The January 7 terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo headquarters was precisely executed and focused on specific persons at the newspaper whom the terrorists had decided on beforehand. Detailed planning, which entailed knowing the schedules of those targeted, was evident in the way the attack unfolded.
For starters, the attack did not begin until after 10 a.m., a time at which all the Charlie Hebdo staff gathered in one room for a “weekly editorial meeting.” With the staff in one room, the attackers arrived at 11:30 a.m.
According to USA Today, the gunmen arrived at the building “dressed in black balaclavas and carrying Kalashnikov automatic weapons.” They forced cartoonist Corinne Rey to let them in the building but did not shoot her–an early demonstration that they were looking for specific targets.
Suspects then asked two persons at the reception desk where Charlie Hebdo’s office was, afterwards opening fire and killing one of the two persons. They then made their way to the office, “separated the men from the women and called out the names of the cartoonists they intended to kill.”
They then executed 10 people.
At 11:40 a.m.–10 minutes into the attack–people in surrounding office buildings run outside to investigate the source of the gunfire. Some of them filmed the attackers walking back to their car from Charlie Hebdo headquarters. In one such video, posted by FranceInfoTV, the attackers can be heard yelling “Allahu Akbar” before firing their last shots.
The attackers then fled in their vehicle, firing shots at two police patrols before wounding an officer on Boulevard Richard Lenoir, then walking up to him and killing him at point black range as he writhed in pain on the sidewalk. The bullet holes on the police vehicles show precise targeting; in an interview with Sky News, one witness noted that the brothers appeared to move with such skill that he mistook them for masked GIGN or Gendarmes officers.
The clock struck noon.
Within the next hour the attackers ditched their car in northern Paris and carjacked another. Police found “jihadist flags and gasoline bombs in the abandoned [vehicle].”
Police released the names and photographs of the suspects around midnight and by 3 a.m. on January 8 the youngest of the three attackers–Hamyd Mourad (18)–surrendered himself. Around 10 a.m. a gas station “in Aisne region of northern France [was] robbed” and BBC reports the store’s clerk told police the two robbers fit the description of Cherif and Said Kouachi–the remaining two Charlie Hebdo attackers.
The two suspects allegedly fled the service station “in a Renault Clio car, apparently the same vehicle [carjacked] in Paris” after the attackers ditched their first car.
CNN reported the two suspects arrived at a Dammartin-en-Geole printing business around 8:30 a.m on January 9. They were still heavily armed. USA Today reports the two suspects were then cornered by police in the printing business.
At 11:50 a.m. on January 9 The Guardian reported: “The Parisian brothers suspected of the Charlie Hebdo massacre have been killed in a violent police raid on their compound in Dammartin-en-Geole, northeast of Paris. …They were killed when armed special forces stormed the building where they had held a hostage since early on Friday.”
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