'Charlie Hebdo' Terrorist Attack in Paris: 6 Things You Need to Know

France is in turmoil and mourning today after yesterday's terrorist attack upon a Parisian-based satirical weekly paper, Charlie Hebdo, which had a history of poking fun of Islam (and other religions) with satirical cartoons. On Wednesday, two heavily armed gunmen forced their way into the magazine's offices and systematically killed 10 people as well 2 police officers who had been guarding the offices from outside. Here are 6 things to know about the tragedy.


1. The killers reportedly gained entrance to the Charlie Hebdo offices by approaching a staffer who had just arrived after picking up her young daughter from daycare. She was in the process of tapping in the building's security code when the gunmen approached her and forced her to open the door. 

2. The attackers apparently knew that the staff would be gathered in one room for an editorial meeting and headed there. They called out the names of people they felt had made fun of Muhammad. The attackers reportedly killed 10 people and injured 11. They then fled in a waiting car. A witness to the attacks says the men spoke perfect French and claimed to be from Al-Qaeda.

3. The suspected gunmen have been identified as two brothers, Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif, 32, both from Paris. A third suspect, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, turned himself in. There are unconfirmed reports that the gunmen are barricaded in a house in Crépy-en-Valois, north of Paris, and surrounded by special forces. 

4. The two suspects were reportedly already known to authorities and had close ties to radical Islam. There is much criticism about how they were able to plot the attack as well as get ahold of such a massive arsenal of Kalashnikov automatic weapons.

5. Donald Trump, as well as many gun-loving Americans, have voiced their opinion that the carnage wouldn't have happened if France didn't have such strict gun control laws. Because lax gun control has certainly prevented any mass shootings on American shores ... oh, wait. Let's see, Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, the Washington Navy Yard ... oh here, just check them all out for yourselves!

6. Around the globe, millions of people have stood in solidarity with the victims, making "Je Suis Charlie" ("I Am Charlie") their rallying call. Freedom of speech and the press is the mainstay of what makes a democratic country, and extremists will never silence the millions who believe in freedom of expression. 

Image via Getty Images News

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