At least 10 journalists and two police officers were killed today in a massacre launched by multiple gunmen at Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical magazine in Paris that frequently lampooned Islam and its prophet Muhammad.
Perhaps five others were seriously wounded in the terror attack.
The magazine’s offices previously were firebombed in 2011 following publication of cartoons mocking Muhammad, and other threats had been leveled against the publication.
Back in 2012, the magazine put an image of Muhammad on its cover in a wheelchair pushed by an Orthodox Jew, despite appeals by the French government not to publish it. At the time, Editor-in-Chief Gérard Biard rejected the criticism. ‘We’re a newspaper that respects French law,’ he said. ‘Now, if there’s a law that is different in Kabul or Riyadh, we’re not going to bother ourselves with respecting it.’
Even this morning, the magazine was mocking ISIS/ISIL with this Tweet:
Meilleurs vœux, au fait. pic.twitter.com/a2JOhqJZJM
— Charlie Hebdo (@Charlie_Hebdo_) January 7, 2015
French President François Hollande said security levels have been increased in Paris, and that other recent terrorist plots had been prevented. He called today’s massacre “an exceptional act of barbarism committed against a newspaper,” adding: “We need to show we are a united country…We will fight these threats and we will punish the attackers.”