Suspects identified in Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris

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(CNN) — A massive manhunt continued late Wednesday for suspects allegedly behind a deadly attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Twelve people were killed in the coordinated strike in Paris.

Investigators are just beginning to piece together the puzzle of what happened and sharing that picture with reporters.

Here’s a summary of what we know and don’t know at this point:

The attack

What we know: Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins detailed the timeline of the attack.

At about 11:30 a.m. local time, a car pulled up outside the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris’ 11th district. Two people got out. They were dressed in black, carried what appeared to be automatic weapons and had their faces covered.

The gunmen asked maintenance men where the magazine office was located and opened fire, killing one of the workers.

They made their way to the magazine’s office on the second floor and headed to the newsroom, opening fire again, killing 10 people this time. The staff of Charlie Hebdo, which publishes weekly on Wednesdays, was in a lunchtime editorial meeting when the gunmen burst into the office.

The gunmen then left the building and drove off with a third suspect, encountering and exchanging fire with police three times.

A police officer was shot in the final exchange.

A video from the attack shows two gunmen leaving their vehicle, with one approaching a man who appears to be an officer, lying on the ground and possibly wounded, and opening fire.

The suspects later carjacked another vehicle to continue their getaway.

What we don’t know: Investigators are in the early stages of understanding exactly what happened inside the offices of the Paris-based magazine.

The attack appeared organized and coordinated, down to a detailed getaway plan.

Did the suspects act alone? Did they have help?

“Everything will be done to arrest (the attackers),” President Francois Hollande vowed in a speech Wednesday night.

The gunmen

What we know: Authorities have released the names and photographs of two suspects: Cherif Kouachi and Said Kouachi. Both are potentially armed and dangerous.

Citing sources, the Agence France Presse news agency reported that a third, 18-year-old suspect had surrendered to police. CNN has not independently confirmed whether the suspect has surrendered.

Earlier, Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman had told CNN that two of the suspects are brothers.

Klugman did not name the suspects then, but said they were 34, 32 and 18 and from a Paris suburb.

Some experts warned that how well the gunmen wielded their weapons, hid their identities and apparently planned their escape showed a marked difference form other “lone wolf” attacks — and could be a game changer.

Writing for CNN, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, former commander of U.S. Army Europe, wrote that the gunmen appeared well-trained.

The used cover and moved quickly — suggesting a “single-mindedness of mission” — and seemed to be good marksmen, he wrote.

What we don’t know: Although authorities have released the names of two of the alleged attackers, it’s not yet clear where they are from and what their backgrounds are.

At least two remain at large, leaving open the possibility of more attacks.

Paris Terror Attack

The victims

What we know: At least 12 people were killed in the attack, including police officers and some of the most revered and controversial cartoonists in France.

Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier was among the dead.

At least seven other journalists were killed, including well-known cartoonists Georges Wolinski, who worked under the pen name Wolinski, Jean “Cabu” Cabut, Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac and Philippe Honore, known as Honore.

Also killed was journalist, economist and Charlie Hebdo shareholder Bernard Maris, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

A maintenance man and two police officers also died, according to authorities.

Eleven people were wounded in the attack, including four in serious condition.

What we don’t know: Besides the names of the cartoonists listed above, the identities of the victims have not been released.

Who was the maintenance man? The officers who gave their lives?

Only time will tell the tragic stories of these lives cut short by terrorism.

The motive

What we know: During the attack, the gunmen said, “Allahu akbar” — which translates to “God is great” — and that they were avenging the Prophet Mohammed, Molins, the prosecutor, told reporters.

Charlie Hebdo has a controversial history of depicting Mohammed, often in an unfavorable light, which has angered many Muslims around the world.

Earlier cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed spurred protests and the burning of the magazine’s office three years ago.

Its last tweet before Wednesday’s attack featured a cartoon of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the words, “And, above all, health.”

U.S. counterterrorism agencies are looking at a number of groups, including ISIS and al Qaeda, that might be responsible for the attack.

What we don’t know: It’s unclear at this point whether the suspects had ties to any international terrorist group. No one has claimed responsibility.

It’s also unclear what exactly they were trying to achieve.

Was this attack a one-off? Or part of a coordinated strategy?

Those are the sorts of questions investigators are trying to answer.

And though they may never know everything, catching the suspects would likely go a long way to help explain their motivations.

1 Comment

  • Mr.French

    Supposed to be Yemen, because of the divergence ,the U.N. needs to acquire a ruler, not a incumbent of a nation.

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