Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Paris Terror Attack

At least 12 people including two police officers were killed and several others seriously injured in a terrorist strike at the Paris office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on 7th January 2015.

Witnesses told French media agencies that multiple gunmen were involved, and that they were seen armed with AK47s and at least one rocket launcher. According to one eye witness two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikov rifles and started firing. They later escaped in a black car. At the time of writing, the Paris police stated that they had no clue about the identity of the terrorists.

French President Francois Hollande visited the scene in Paris's 11th arrondissement. Paris raised its terror alert to the highest setting in the aftermath of the attack, while the gunmen themselves are still reported to be on the run.

The Charlie Hebdo magazine is most famous internationally for publishing a controversial series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in 2012.

A year earlier, its offices were firebombed after a spoof issue featured a caricature of Mohammed on its cover.

According to Le Monde, a source said that one of the magazine's cartoonists, known as Riss, was injured during the attack.

The radical Islamic State group threatened to attack France minutes before Hebdo tweeted a satirical cartoon of the extremist group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi giving New Year's wishes.

This attack comes a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the European Union it should crack down on "Islamophobia" amid rising anti-Muslim protests instead of trying to teach Turkey lessons about democracy.

Erdogan told Turkey's ambassadors posted abroad in a speech in Ankara that they should pursue an assertive foreign policy to represent strong and self-confident "new Turkey" under his rule.

"Believe me it is regrettable that the EU is trying teach a lesson to Turkey instead of trying to tackle very serious threats it is facing," he said.

Erdogan said racist, discriminatory activities and Islamophobia were on the rise in Europe, complaining that racist organisations won sympathy in some Western societies with "each passing day".

"The Islamophobia -- which we constantly draw attention to and warn of -- represents a serious threat in Europe."

"If the issue is not dealt with seriously today, and if populism takes European politicians captive, the EU and European values will come into question," he said.

His comments came a day after controversial German group PEGIDA rallied thousands of people in Dresden for a demonstration against what it calls the "Islamisation of the Occident". One wonders whether the Turkish President will continue to issue idiotic statements even  after this terror strike.

The liberal immigration policy and affording asylum to people from North Africa and Middle East is now undermining the peace and security of west Europe. The West needs to get tough with terror spawning in their backyards and bar entry to so-called refugees from places like Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and other trouble spots.

1 comment:

Peter Coates said...

Hi Kumar

Yes Turkish comments are certainly ill-timed. Turkey acts as a terminus for foreign fighters who then walk (or driven) over borders to Syria and Iraq. Turkey hindering Kurdish counter-offensives against IS.

One difficulty in the US criticising Turkey is that Saudi Arabia may be as culpable as Turkey in giving finance and a safe haven to IS terrorists.

On the Paris outrage here is a useful update . I don't agree with Intelnews conclusion that calm is essential - a stronger crackdown on wouldbe or ex-foreign fighters is probably necessary.