September 25, 2020

Charlie Hebdo hunt: Police storm two hostage sites/ Flight QZ8501 tail found


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Charlie Hebdo hunt: Police storm two hostage sites

From BBC

French police have stormed two hostage sites in the area, killing three hostage takers.

Two brothers suspected of the Charlie Hebdo magazine shootings were killed in an assault at a warehouse where they had held a hostage north of Paris.

In the second incident, anti-terror forces stormed a supermarket in eastern Paris where several hostages were being held by another gunman.

_80174652_80174651 _80174783_80174781 _80164012_e44655e4-a9f3-465a-98de-3ae863efb698Four hostages at the supermarket were killed.

It is not clear whether they were killed before or after the police assault began.

Another four hostages were seriously injured, but 15 were released.

The hostage taker at the kosher supermarket is believed to have had links to the two Charlie Hebdo suspects.

Two police officers were injured in the rescue operation, AP reported.

In the first incident, a hostage at the warehouse in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) north of Paris was also freed, while a police officer at the scene was injured, AFP news agency said.

French President Francois Hollande has described the events as “a tragedy for the nation”.

In a national address, he thanked the security forces for their “courage, bravery [and] efficiency”, but added that still faced threats. “We have to be vigilant. I also ask you to be united – it’s our best weapon,” he said.

“We must be implacable towards racism,” he added, saying that the supermarket attack was an “appalling anti-Semitic act”.

“Those who committed these acts, these fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim faith.”

The police assaults came after three tense days in France.

Twelve people were shot dead and 11 were injured in Wednesday’s attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine.

The unprecedented attack shocked France and there has been an outpouring of sympathy and solidarity worldwide.

The two suspects of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, then went on the run for two days, before being surrounded at Dammartin as night fell on Friday.

French police said they came out firing.

The hostage taker in eastern Paris targeted a Jewish supermarket, Hypercacher, near Porte de Vincennes. He has been named as , 32. It is not clear whether he had an accomplice.

He knew at least one of the suspected Charlie Hebdo attackers, a source told AFP news agency.

He had threatened to kill his captives if police attempted to capture the brothers, reports citing police said.

Earlier on Friday, a man claiming to be Amedy Coulibaly told French TV station BFMTV that he was a member of the Islamic State militant group, and that he had “co-ordinated” his attack with the Kouachi brothers.

Coulibaly was also suspected of being behind the shooting of a policewoman in the southern suburb of Montrouge on Thursday.

On Friday, French police issued an appeal for witnesses to that shooting. They said they were looking for Amedy Coulibaly, as well as a woman called Hayat Boumeddiene, 26.

Ms Boumeddiene’s whereabouts are not clear.

How the day unfolded (all times GMT)

07:00 – The Kouachi brothers hijack a car in Montagny-Sainte-Felicite, north of Paris. They are said to be carrying weapons including a rocket launcher.

08:30 – Pursued by police along the N2 road towards Paris, they take refuge in a printing works in Dammartin-en-Goele. They take a man hostage as police surround the building.

12:15 – As the siege continues, a man identified as Amedy Coulibaly takes several people hostage at a supermarket near Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris. Coulibaly is also suspected of having shot dead a police officer on Thursday.

16:00 – Police storm the siege scene in Dammartin. Both suspects are killed and the hostage freed.

16:15 -Security forces move into the shop in Paris and kill Coulibaly. It emerges that four hostages at the supermarket have also been killed, but 15 others are freed.

18:55 – Addressing the nation, President Hollande calls for France to “remain vigilant” and praises the “courage, bravery and efficiency” of the police forces.

Analysis: Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent

The actions of France’s highly trained GIGN counter-terrorist police brought a swift end to a double hostage crisis that began 53 hours earlier with the armed raid on the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo.

But a number of important questions remain. Was this attack planned and orchestrated from abroad and if so by who? Is there any credence to claims made by the gunmen before they died that they were linked to al-Qaeda in Yemen and to Islamic State, two sometimes competing organisations? And what was the real target here, Charlie Hebdo or the entire French nation?

Questions are already being asked of French police and intelligence about how the two Kouachi brothers, well-known for their extremist views and already on US and European no-fly watchlists, were left free to acquire assault rifles and carry out the murderous raid on 7 January. Beyond this, France has a deeper problem, coping with a growing number of violent jihadists who will see this week as only the beginning.

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Charlie Hebdo hunt: Double hostage crisis in France

From BBC

A gunman has seized hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris as police in northern France have cornered the two Charlie Hebdo massacre suspects.

Armed police flooded the Porte de Vincennes area of eastern Paris after the man reportedly opened fire and took up to five people prisoner.

He is said to be the gunman who killed a policewoman in the city on Thursday.

_80161838_copsIn Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) north-east of Paris, the Charlie Hebdo suspects are also holding a hostage.

The Islamist militants are inside a small printing business and have reportedly said they are prepared to die.

Twelve people were shot dead and 11 were injured in the attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine which freely mocks religion.

The unprecedented attack shocked France and there has been an outpouring of sympathy and solidarity worldwide.
Swat teams

Images of heavily armed Swat teams mobilising in Paris were broadcast live.

Reports suggest the hostage-taker is connected in some way to the Charlie Hebdo attackers.

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Charlie Hebdo attack: Suspects ‘rob service station’

From BBC

The two main suspects in the Islamist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris are said to have robbed a service station in the north of France.

They stole food and petrol, firing shots as they struck at the roadside stop near Villers-Cotterets in the Aisne region, French media report.

France has observed a minute’s silence for the 12 people killed at the office of the satirical magazine.

Earlier in the day, a gunman shot dead a policewoman south of Paris.

A second person was seriously injured in the attack in Montrouge, after which the gunman fled.

It is unclear if the attack is related to the pursuit of prime suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi.

According to the manager of the service station that was robbed on the RN2 road in Aisne at about 10:30 (09:30 GMT), the attackers fit the description of the two men, and were heavily armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

They are said to have driven off in the direction of Paris in a Renault Clio car, apparently the same vehicle hijacked in Paris soon after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

According to French commercial channel BFMTV, police are monitoring all of the main entry roads into the capital.

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Charlie Hebdo: Gun attack on French magazine kills 12

From BBC

Gunmen have attacked the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring seven in an apparent Islamist attack.

At least two masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car.

The gunmen shouted “we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad”, witnesses say.

President Francois Hollande said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.

A major police operation is under way in the Paris area to catch the killers.

_80112489_025306946-1The satirical weekly has courted controversy in the past with its irreverent take on news and current affairs. It was fire-bombed in November 2011 a day after it carried a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.

The latest tweet on Charlie Hebdo’s account was a cartoon of the Islamic State militant group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

People had been “murdered in a cowardly manner”, President Hollande told reporters at the scene. “We are threatened because we are a country of liberty,” he added, appealing for national unity.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in a tweet: “The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.”

_80112483_025307039-1‘Black-hooded men’

Two of those killed are police officers, France’s AFP news agency reports, and several of the wounded are in a critical condition.

An eyewitness, Benoit Bringer, told French TV channel Itele: “Two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs. A few minutes later we heard lots of shots.”

The men were then seen fleeing the building.

Gilles Boulanger, who works in the same building as the office, told the same channel: “A neighbour called to warn me that there were armed men in the building and that we had to shut all the doors.

“And several minutes later, there were several shots heard in the building from automatic weapons firing in all directions. So then we looked out of the window and saw the shooting was on Boulevard Richard-_80108897_025306183-1Lenoir, with the police. It was really upsetting. You’d think it was a war zone.”

After the attack, police warned French media outlets to be on alert and pay attention to security.

The country was already on the alert for Islamist attacks after several incidents just before Christmas.

Cars were driven at shoppers in two cities, Dijon and Nantes, and police were attacked by a man wielding a knife in Tours.

While the French government denied the attacks were linked, it announced plans to further raise security in public spaces, including the deployment of around 300 soldiers.

Analysis: Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris

Charlie Hebdo is part of a venerable tradition in French journalism going back to the scandal sheets that denounced Marie-Antoinette in the run-up to the French Revolution.

The tradition combines left-wing radicalism with a provocative scurrility that often borders on the obscene. Its decision to mock the Prophet Muhammad in 2011 was entirely consistent with its historic raison d’etre.

The paper has never sold in enormous numbers – and for 10 years from 1981, it ceased publication for lack of resources.

But with its garish front-page cartoons and incendiary headlines, it is an unmissable staple of newspaper kiosks and railway station booksellers.

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Search continues for elusive Flight QZ8501 black boxes

By Greg Botelho, Jethro Mullen and Kocha Alarn, CNN

(CNN)The tail section of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 was lifted from the Java Sea on Saturday, but the plane’s cockpit voice and flight recorders, or “black boxes,” were not found.

Indonesian officials said the devices were not with the recovered section.

The plane’s black boxes will likely be found in “a few days,” the crash’s chief investigator said, after searchers were able to hear more pings, even if they haven’t yet pinpointed where they came from.

The investigator, Mardjono Siswosuwarno, told CNN that smaller boats picked up several pings emanating from roughly 500 meters from where the commercial jet’s tail was found.
nr airasia tail brought to surface_00012802

“I think we will be able to find the black boxes in a few days, because the location where pings were detected is not very far from the tail,” Siswosuwarno said.

The search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501

This wouldn’t be a major surprise, since the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were housed in the Airbus A320-200’s tail.

The data recorder provides a wide range of information about what the plane was doing, from its air speed to the position of the landing gear, said Greg Waldron, the managing editor of Flightglobal, an aviation industry website. The cockpit voice recorder captures communications between the pilots.

The aircraft went down on December 28 with 162 people on board. The plane’s pilot had asked to change course and climb to a higher altitude minutes before contact was lost, Indonesian officials said.

Unlike Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — which went missing last March and still hasn’t been located — remnants of Flight QZ8501 were spotted within days.

For more on this story:

AirAsia QZ8501: Tail of crashed plane found

_80103117_025304015-1From BBC

Part of the tail of crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 has been found in the Java Sea, Indonesian searchers say.

The tail houses the “black boxes” – the voice and flight data recorders – which could give investigators clues as to the cause of the crash.

It was found in a secondary search area, lending weight to theories that strong currents have moved the debris.

The plane was lost en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore on 28 December, with 162 people aboard.

No survivors have been found.
Buried in mud

Part of the tail of the Airbus A320-200 was spotted by teams involving divers and unmanned underwater vehicles, search and rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo said in Jakarta.

It is the first significant piece of wreckage from the crash to be identified and was found in an area some 30km (19 miles) from the initial search area.

The part found has the AirAsia mark on it, Mr Soelistyo said. It is buried in mud, in water 30m (98ft)deep, and is believed to be upside down.

_80002275_airasia_black_box_20143112_624_v2Despite powerful sea currents and murky water, searchers managed to take photographs, he said. On one piece, the letter A appears to be painted.

Only 40 bodies have been recovered so far but the authorities believe many of the passengers may still be strapped inside the main body of the plane.

The BBC’s Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta says the tail was not found in the area search teams previously focussed upon, but in the expanded search area. This could add weight to that theory, she adds.

A huge international operation with aerial searches and more than 30 ships involved has been repeatedly hampered by poor weather.

“The seas haven’t been very friendly but the black boxes have a 30-day life and they will be able to find them,” Peter Marosszeky, a senior aviation research fellow at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told Reuters news agency.

“It’s the weather that is causing the delay.”

Some wreckage, including seats and a door, was found floating on the sea.

At the weekend search officials said sonar had detected what they thought were five large parts of the plane.

The cause of the crash is not known but the plane was flying through stormy weather at the time and had requested permission to change course.

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  1. The way the queen, I think it was, of Netherlands emerged from her palace wearing the yellow star in identification with the Jews under Nazi occupation, it would be very fitting for the French president, and as many other public officials and private citizens of France as possible, to wear a photo of the murdered cartoonist on their sleeves or lapels, in a statement of solidarity against the Islamicist spawn of Satan that murdered those people at the magazine office.

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