Friday, 9 January 2015

Cherif and Said Kouachi

On 7 January 2015, at about 11:30 CET, Cherif and Said Kouachi armed with Kalashnikov rifles, a shotgun, and an RPG launcher entered the offices of the French satirical newspaper #CharlieHebdo in Paris.

The attack resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people, including the editor Stéphane "Charb" Charbonnier, eight other Charlie Hebdo employees, and two National Police officers, while at least 12 others were wounded. The gunmen entered the building and began shooting with automatic weapons, shouting "Allahu Akbar", Arabic for "God is great".

Cherif Kouachi, who also went by the name Abu Issen, was part of the "Buttes-Chaumont network" that helped send would-be jihadists to fight for al-Qaeda in Iraq after the United States and United Kingdom led invasion in 2003. Chérif was arrested in January 2005, at age 22, when he and another man were about to leave for Bashar al-Assad's Syria – at the time the gateway for jihadists to fight US troops in Iraq. In 2008, Chérif Kouachi was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to three years in prison, with 18 months suspended, for having assisted in sending fighters to militant Islamist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group

His brother Said visited Yemen in 2008 for a number of months and trained with Al Qaeda militants in the Arabian Peninsula.

After a massive manhunt by French authorities, the brothers were tracked down to the office of Création Tendance Découverte, a signage production company, on an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goële. They had a 26-year-old male hostage who they were apparently unaware of. The hostage was hiding inside of a cardboard box and had been texting police during the siege for around three hours.

During the eight-hour siege, at least three explosions had gone off near the building. Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that both Kouachi brothers were killed after they came out firing on security forces. Their hostage was rescued unharmed.

Anyone who thinks that these two psychopaths have earned their place in heaven for their actions is seriously deluded. We can think of a much warmer place.