Paris Shooting Updates / French PM Acknowledges 'Failings' in Preventing Attack

President Hollande addressing France after three gunmen and at least five hostages are killed in and around Paris, calls attack at kosher supermarket 'anti-Semitic act.'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
French police evacuate hostages after launching an assault at a kosher grocery store in eastern Paris, Jan. 9, 2015.Credit: AFP

Five people were killed Friday in a police raid on a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris, where a gunman had earlier taken a number of hostages. The gunman, who was killed, by police was believed to have been responsible for the killing of a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris on Thursday.

North of the capital in Dammartin-en-Goele, French anti-terrorist police killed the two men believed to have carried Wednesday's attack on the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper. A man who the gunmen took hostage was freed.

More on Paris shootings: Charlie Hebdo, Jewish grocery attacks herald a bleak new era for France | The double nightmare of Western intelligence | Paris shooting won’t garner European sympathy for Israel | Publish the cartoon, screen the film | Haaretz cartoonist: I'm afraid

Live updates:

1:08 A.M. French PM acknowledges "failings" in preventing attack

France's prime minister on Friday acknowledged "failings" in intelligence that led to a three-day spree of horror and at least 20 people dead, though security experts noted the difficulties in preventing attacks when potential terrorists number in the thousands on official watch lists.

There has been mounting criticism of French police and intelligence agents for not intervening before Wednesday's attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper. One of the chief suspects had been convicted on terrorism charges and the other is believed to have linked up with Al-Qaida forces while in Yemen. Both were on the U.S. no-fly list, according to a senior U.S. official, because of their links to terrorist movements.

"There was a failing, of course," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on BFM television. "That's why we have to analyze what happened." (AP)

1:03 A.M. Paris prosecutor: terror suspect killed four entering grocery

A Paris prosecutor says that four people who died in an attack against a kosher grocery were killed when the assailant entered the store — not when police tried to rescue them.

Francois Molins also said that several people have been handed preliminary charges in the investigation following the three-day rampage that has terrified France. They include family members of the three suspects, who were killed by police Friday.

He said that gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed four people when he entered the kosher market in eastern Paris on Friday. 15 hostages in the store were later set free.

Molins added that one of the two gunmen in the other standoff Friday was wounded in the throat in a shootout with police before being killed later in the day. (AP)

12:36 A.M. Al-Qaida leader: Attack on French newspaper prompted by insults to prophets

A leader of the Yemeni branch of Al-Qaida said in an audio recording that an attack in France was prompted by insults to the prophets, but stopped short of claiming responsibly for the deadly assault on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Sheikh Hareth al-Nadhari also said in the recording posted on YouTube that the attackers were a group of "the faithful soldiers of God" who taught the French the limits of freedom of speech. (Reuters)

10:12 P.M. Suspect in Paris attack fought for Al-Qaida in Yemen

Yemeni authorities suspect that Said Kouachi, one of the brothers involved in the deadly Charlie Hebdo attak, fought with Al-Qaida in Yemen at the height of the group's offensive in the country's south, a security official said Friday. U.S. intelligence officials said they believe he was trained by Al-Qaida there to return home to carry out an attack.

Witnesses to the assault at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris said Said Kouachi claimed allegiance to the Yemeni group during the attack. His 32-year-old brother, Cherif Kouachi, was convicted of terrorism charges in 2008 for ties to a network sending jihadis to fight U.S. forces in Iraq. The brothers were killed Friday in a gun battle with French police.

A U.S. intelligence assessment described to AP shows that Said Kouachi was in Yemen for several months in 2011 for training by Al-Qaida. The Yemeni security officails said he is believed to have fought with Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, as the branch there is called, in 2011 in Abyan province. (AP)

9:20 P.M. Obama says United States stands with people of France

President Barack Obama said on Friday he hoped the immediate threat stemming from the recent shootings in Paris was now resolved and pledged U.S. support to the people of France.

"I want the people of France to know that the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow," Obama said during a trip to Tennessee. "In the streets of Paris the world's seen once again what terrorists stand for: they have nothing to offer but hatred and human suffering. And we stand for freedom and hope and the dignity of all human beings. And that's what the city of Paris represents to the world."  (Reuters)

9:00 P.M. President Hollande calls attack at kosher supermarket 'anti-Semitic act'

French President Francois Hollande confirmed reports on Friday that four hostages were killed at a siege of a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris.

Hollande called for national unity and said the country should remain "implacable" in the face of racism and anti-Semitism.

"It is indeed an appalling anti-Semitic act that was committed," he said of the hostage-taking by an Islamist gunman at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in the Vincennes district.

Some hostages were seen rushing from the market after heavily armed police broke the siege at the same time as they ended a separate stand-off in northern France involving the two Islamist suspects behind the killings at Charlie Hebdo magazine this week. (Reuters)

8:34 P.M. UN chief relieved French terrorists killed, urges tolerance

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he's relieved that the French terrorists have been killed and is urging all people around the world "to enhance the level of tolerance and respect for the belief and religions and tradition of others." Ban said all differences of views on religion and other issues can be resolved through dialogue.

But he said the tragedy in Paris was not about religion. "This is a purely unacceptable terrorist attack, criminality," Ban said. "This kind of criminality must be brought to justice in the name of humanity." The secretary-general spoke after signing a condolence book at France's UN Mission. "I am confident that even in these dark times France will continue to show the way of liberty and tolerance," Ban wrote in French. (AP)

8:30 P.M. Supermarket gunman told French TV he 'coordinated' with Charlie Hebdo killers (AFP)

8:00 P.M. ADL: Anti-Semitism is ‘at core of Islamic extremist ideology’

Abraham H. Foxman, Anti-Defamation League National Director, issued the following statement: 

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher store are linked by the perpetrators’ ideology, not just their acquaintance. Islamic extremism is a common enemy of Jews and democratic states. That message needs to be heard and internalized by governments and mainstream society. Anti-Semitism is at the core of Islamic extremist ideology, interwoven with its hatred of basic democratic freedoms, and continues to motivate adherents around the world. The packaging of anti-Semitic narratives has radicalized followers and influenced numerous international and domestic extremists with tragic results. 

8:06 P.M. French President Hollande tells Israeli PM Netanyahu that four hostages were murdered in Paris kosher supermarket and 15 hostages freed alive 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke a short while ago with French President Francois Hollande, who informed Netanyahu that four hostages at the Jewish supermarket in Paris were killed and 15 others were freed after police stormed the shop.

Netanyahu told Hollande, in French, that the people of Israel stand with France. He also said, "Our hearts are with the victims' families.Israel is offering France any help it requires."

Netanyahu asked Hollande to step up security at Jewish institutions even after the situation in Paris settles down. He urged the international community to unite in the face of radical Islamic terrorists and the terror infrastructures that support them – including the financiers of terror and those who encourage such acts. (Barak Ravid) 

7:40 P.M. Five, not four, dead in Paris supermarket hostage siege, says security source to AFP 

7:14 P.M. Four people critically wounded after Paris kosher supermarket siege, AFP reports security official as saying

6:56 P.M. Official: 2 suspects in French standoff came out shooting

A security official says the two brothers suspected in the Charlie Hebdo massacre came out firing, prompting the assault on the building where they had holed up with a hostage. The official was not authorized to speak about the sensitive operations and spoke on condition of anonymity. Officials say the brothers died in the assault. 

Another official, police union representative Christophe Crepin, said it appeared that the gunman who took hostages at a kosher market had also died in a nearly simultaneous raid there. Crepin spoke to LCI televison. (AP)

6:54 P.M. At least 4 hostages at Paris kosher supermarket dead says police source - Reuters 

6:46 P.M. One hostage freed at site north of Paris where  Charlie Hebdo suspects, now dead, were holed up (AP)

6:29 P.M. Hostage taker at kosher supermarket siege in eastern Paris dead - Le Monde

6:25 P.M. Both Charlie Hebdo suspects killed in police raid

6:24 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Friday, and offered any Israeli assistance that French authorities might need. Netanyahu also raised the issue of security at Jewish institutions in France. The prime minister noted that it iscrucial to strike at the sources of financing of Islamist radicals and

to fight incitement in Europe that encourages such terror.

Netanyahu is expected to speak with French President Francois Hollande in the near future as well.

Netanyahu earlier Friday spoke with French Jewish community leaders, including Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF, the umbrella representative body of Jewish organizations in France, and Meyer Habib, a French lawmaker. He asked them to tell the Jewish community in France that Israel is supporting them at this difficult time. (Barak Ravid)

6:13 P.M. Four explosions heard at site of hostage-taking where Charlie Hebdo suspects are holed up - Reuters reporter

6:00 P.M. France 24 reports that French special forces storm building in Dammartin-en-Goele where  Charlie Hebdo suspects are holed up

Special forces (#GIGN) storm building in #Dammartin where #CharlieHebdo suspects holed up

5:56 P.M. Gunshots, several explosions heard at Dammartin-en-Goele site in France - Reuters reporter (Reuters)

5:51 P.M. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Friday sent a letter to his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, expressing condolences to France over the terrorist attacks that have unfolded in and near Paris since Wednesday. "We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of France," Ya'alon wrote, adding that Israel is prepared to offer any necessary assistance.

5:40 P.M. Paris gunman threatening to kill Jewish supermarket hostages if Hebdo suspects are harmed, according to AP

5:20 P.M. Hezbollah chief: Extremists harm Islam more than cartoons

The leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah group says Islamic extremists have insulted Islam and the Prophet Muhammad more than those who published satirical cartoons mocking the religion. 

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah did not directly mention the Paris attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, but he said Islamic extremists who behead and slaughter people — a reference to the IS group's rampages in Iraq and Syria — have done more harm to Islam than anyone else in history.
Nasrallah spoke Friday via video link to supporters gathered in southern Beirut. (AP)

5:07 P.M. An Israeli SWAT team unit specializing in hostage situation takeovers and rescues has been on standby since early Friday and ready to travel to Paris to assist French authorities with the hostage situation at a kosher supermarket store.

The commander of the police's elite counter-terror unit (Yamam), Brig.-Gen. S., has been in contact with his French counterparts and offered them Israeli assistance in handling the hostage situation, particularly at the Jewish-owned supermarket. Israeli counter-terror officials praised the French authorities' response to the attacks.

Israel's counter-terrorism unit maintains close ties, shares intelligence and conducts joint drills with Western European counter-terror units, especially that in Germany (Amir Oren)

4:40 P.M. Jewish institutions are not cancelling any Shabbat services, including in the area of kosher supermarket, according to head of Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions. (Shirli Sitbon)

4:20 P.M. French police order all shops closed in Jewish neighborhood in central Paris (AP)

4:10 P.M. Netanyahu holds conference call with top Israeli security, diplomatic officials

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday held a conference call about the unfolding situation at a kosher supermarket in Paris with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Foreign Ministry Director-General Nissim Ben Sheetrit, Mossad head Tamir Pardo, National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen and Eitan Ben David, chief of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau.

Netanyahu was briefed about the ongoing contact between authorities in
Israel and those in France.

He also instructed the officials to provide all assistance to authorities in France, and to reissue security directives at Israeli embassies and Jewish institutions.

4:06 P.M. Lieberman: Paris attack is additional attempt by dark forces of radical Islam to sow terror, fear in West. 

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel is following events in Paris with great concern and that the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is in contact with Israeli embassy staffers in France.

Lieberman said that the terrorist attack that has been ongoing for three days, since the deadly attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris on Wednesday, is not just an attack against the people of France. It is also not simply an attack against the Jews of France but against the entire free world.

This is an additional attempt by the dark forces of radical Islam to sow terror and fear in the West, Lieberman said. He added that the entire international community must be united and determined to fight such terror. (Barak Ravid)

4:04 P.M. French interior ministry denies reports that two killed at kosher supermarket

One person was seriously wounded in the hostage-taking incident at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday, a police union source said.

The interior ministry denied press reports that two people had been killed. Police sources said one person was injured after being shot.

3:44 P.M. The hostage-taker at the Paris-area kosher supermarket is the main suspect in Thursday's shooting that left one policewoman dead, police sources confirm to France24.

3:42 P.M. Iran President Hassan Rohani tweets: "We condemn violence, extremism & terrorism everywhere: whether in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or in Paris or in the United States. #WAVE"

3:35 P.M. French police release mugshots of two suspects linked to Thursday's shooting that left one policewoman dead. The two suspects are believed to be involved in the hostage situation at the Paris-area kosher supermarket.

3:33 P.M. French President Francois Hollande orders the country's top security official to the kosher supermarket, an official in the presidency tells The Associated Press.

3:31 P.M. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweets: "My message, in Paris, in Jerusalem, anywhere: first rule in fighting terrorism is to refuse to be afraid."

3:20 P.M. At least two killed in hostage drama in Paris-area kosher supermarket, according to AFP.

3:12 P.M. The man who has taken at least five hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket is armed with two machine guns, French media report.

Women and children are among the hostages, according to the BFMTV broadcaster. (DPA)

3:03 P.M. At least five hostages have been taken at the Paris-area kosher supermarket, according to AFP.

2:50 P.M. The gunman is believed to be a man police had been searching for in connection with a shooting in the French capital on Thursday, which left one policewoman dead.

2:36 P.M. At least one injured at shooting near kosher supermarket. (Haaretz)

2:27 P.M. Armed man takes hostage in kosher supermarket east of Paris, according to AFP.

2:27 P.M. Reports of shots in Porte de Vincennes, east of Paris. (Haaretz)

2:08 P.M. French interior minister: Priority of authorities is to establish dialogue with suspects. (Reuters)

1:53 P.M. The Charlie Hebdo attack and Thursday's shooting near Paris that left one police officer dead are "directly linked," police sources tell France24.

The man suspected of killing a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris on Thursday before fleeing the scene was a member of the same jihadist group as the two suspects in the attack at weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a police source told Reuters.

The assailant believed to be behind the shooting in the Montrouge area knew Cherif and Said Kouachi, the brothers suspected of killing 10 journalists and two police officers in Wednesday's assault, the source said on Friday.

The man, wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying an assault rifle and a handgun, fled in a Renault Clio from the scene after the attack and is still on the run.

Two people have been arrested in an investigation by anti-terrorist authorities, the source said. The three men were all members of the same Paris jihadist cell that a decade ago sent young French volunteers to Iraq to fight U.S. forces. (Reuters) 

1:50 P.M. Phone contact established with suspects, who 'want to die as martyrs'

An official in the French town where two terror suspects are holed up with a hostage near a school tells The Associated Press that phone contact has been established with the men. A lawmaker inside the command post tells French television the men "want to die as martyrs."

Audrey Taupenas, spokeswoman for Dammartin-en-Goele, says officials established phone contact with the suspects in order to negotiate the safe evacuation of a school near the printing plant where the men are cornered. She says the suspects agreed.

Yves Albarello, a lawmaker who said he was inside the command post, said the two brothers told i-Tele on Friday they "want to die as martyrs." (AP)

1:18 P.M. ISIS cleric says group responsible for Charlie Hebdo attack

A cleric from the Islamic State group claims the radical militia was responsible for the deadly attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

"We started with the France operation for which we take responsibility. Tomorrow will be in Britain, America and others," Abu Saad al-Ansari said in a sermon in the Islamic State-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul.

"This is a message to all countries participating in the [U.S.-led] coalition that has killed Islamic State members." (DPA)

12:40 P.M. Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten will not republish Charlie Hebdo's cartoons

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which angered Muslims by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad 10 years ago, will not republish Charlie Hebdo's cartoons due to security concerns, the only major Danish newspaper not to do so.

"It shows that violence works," the newspaper stated in its editorial on Friday.

Denmark's other major newspapers have all republished cartoons from the French satirical weekly as part of the coverage of the attack which killed 12 people in Paris on Wednesday.

Many other European newspapers also republished Charlie Hebdo cartoons to protest against the killings.

When Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons by various artists in September 2005, most of which depict the Prophet Mohammad, it sparked a wave of protests across the Muslim world in which at least 50 people died.

"We have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack for nine years, and yes, that is the explanation why we do not reprint the cartoons, whether it be our own or Charlie Hebdo's," Jyllands-Posten said. "We are also aware that we therefore bow to violence and intimidation."

Jyllands-Posten decided to tighten its security level in the wake of the Paris attack.

"The concern for our employees' safety is paramount," it said in Friday's editorial. (Reuters) 

12:28 P.M. The pair remains holed up inside CTF Creation Tendance Decouverte. Xavier Castaing, the chief Paris police spokesman, and town hall spokeswoman Audrey Taupenas, said there appeared to be one hostage inside the printing house.

Christelle Alleume, who works across the street, said that a round of gunfire interrupted her coffee break Friday morning.

"We heard shots and we returned very fast because everyone was afraid," she told i-Tele. "We had orders to turn off the lights and not approach the windows." (AP)

12:06 P.M. An airport spokesman said the flight diversions are not affecting schedules.

At least three helicopters are hovering above the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, near to the airport. (AP)

11:45 A.M. French interior minister: "Almost certain" that hostage-takers are the two Charlie Hebdo suspects. (Reuters)

11:41 A.M. The two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack are holding one hostage, police sources tell AFP. (Haaretz)

11:30 A.M. Two runways at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport have been closed as a precautionary measure in light of developments in Dammartin-en-Goele. (Haaretz)

11:20 A.M. Paris prosecutor's office denies report that one person killed in shootout in Dammartin-en-Goele. (Reuters)

11:11 A.M. Said Kouachi visited Yemen in 2011 for religious studies, according to a senior Yemeni intelligence source.

While in Yemen, he met with late Al-Qaida preacher Anwar Al Alwaqi. (Reuters)

11:10 A.M. Negotiations have started with the two suspects, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.

11:04 A.M. One person killed, several injured in shootout ahead of hostage taking in Dammartin-En-Goele, according to French media. (Reuters)

10:48 A.M. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve separately confirms a police operation was underway in Dammartin-en-Goele, some 40 km (25 miles) from the site of where police had been hunting the two suspects on Thursday.

10:42 A.M.The two suspects stole a Peugeot on Friday morning in the town of Montagny Sainte Felicite, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Paris, police official says.

10:35 A.M. Hostages have been taken northeast of Paris, according to AFP.

10:27 A.M. Shots fired in car chase northeast of Paris

Gunshots rang out on Friday in the French town of Dammartin-en- Goele, some 40 km (25 miles) from the scene of where police had been hunting two suspects in the killings of 12 people at a satirical weekly, a police source said.

The source added that police were now chasing a vehicle on the nearby A2 motorway. (Reuters)

9:40 A.M. ISIS praises Charlie Hebdo attackers as "heroic jihadists"

The Islamic State militant group praised the gunmen behind this week's killings at the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper as "heroic jihadists", a monitoring group said on Friday.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors radical Islamist organisations in the media, said Islamic State praised the gunmen in a brief note in its daily audio bulletin, which was distributed on Twitter and jihadi forums on Thursday.

"We start our bulletin with France. Heroic jihadists killed 12 journalists and wounded ten others working in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and that was support for our master (Prophet) Mohammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him," according to the audio bulletin. (Reuters)

1:47 A.M. Obama visits French embassy to pay respects

President Barack Obama made an unannounced visit to the French Embassy in Washington on Thursday to pay his respects and express solidarity with the French people.

Obama wrote in a condolences book that he extended U.S. sympathy and solidarity to the French people. "As allies across the centuries, we stand united with our French brothers to ensure that justice is done and our way of life is defended. We go forward together knowing that terror is no match for freedom and ideals we stand for - ideals that light the world," he wrote. (Reuters)

12:57 A.M. Charlie Hebdo to print 1 million copies next week

Charlie Hebdo will publish its next edition on Wednesday, a lawyer for the French satirical magazine told the AFP news agency, despite the deadly shooting at its Paris headquarters.

One million copies will be printed, lawyer Richard Malka said, far above the magazine's usual circulation that numbers in the tens of thousands. Read full article here

12:56 A.M. Manhunt to continue overnight with five helicopters, French police says

Le Monde reported that police has given no new information on the manhunt for the suspects around the village of Longpont, northern France. The search will continue with the aid of five helicopters overnight, a police officer said according to AFP.  

12:17 A.M. Brothers were on U.S. no-fly list for years, unnamed sources say

Cherif and Said Kouachi, brothers suspected of the Paris attack, had been on a U.S. no-fly list for years, and were on a database of terrorists called TIDE, unnamed U.S. officials are cited as saying by U.S. media.

12:13 A.M. American official: Said Kouachi trained with Al-Qaida in Yemen

An unnamed American official told CNN the U.S. has received information from the French intelligence service that Said Kouachi traveled to Yemen in 2011, where he trained with Al-Qaida militants. According to the official, the training included firearm usage, and possibly bomb making as well. In addition, a French intelligence source told CNN the possibility is examined that one of the brothers – it's unclear which – visited Syria last year.

12:05 A.M. Canada's Harper: Jihadists have declared war, world must respond

The deadly attacks in Paris serve as a vivid reminder that jihadists are at war with those they disagree with, and the world must confront them, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday.

"The international jihadist movement has declared war. They have declared war on anybody who does not think and act exactly as they wish they'd think and act," Harper told reporters when asked about Wednesday's attack.

"We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it's not going to go away, and the reality is we are going to have to confront it."

Harper spoke as a manhunt was underway in France for two brothers suspected of being the Islamist gunmen who killed 12 people in Wednesday's attack on a satirical weekly newspaper in Paris.

Harper said any doubts in Canada about the reality of threats posed by such extremists should have vanished on Oct. 22. That was the day when a radicalized Canadian gunman killed a soldier at the national war memorial and then stormed the Parliament building. (Reuters) 

Click the alert icon to follow topics: