What you need to know: Paris

Mini Tupai, Staff Writer

On January 7, 2015 two Islamic terrorists attacked satirical newspaper called Charlie Hebdo. Twenty-two people were shot, eleven of which were killed. This Islamic terrorist group identified themselves with Al-Qaeda (also in association with ISIS) and exclaimed religious phrases during the attack. Attacks continued for three days, beginning with a massacre in the newspaper offices of Charlie Hebdo, and ending with a massive man-hunt, police barricade, and two sieges two days later. During the three days of terror six more people were killed, many more injured. One of the casualties was that of a French police officer, and many civilians. Fear continued to spread even after the terrorists were caught.


Vigipirate, Paris’s highest level of National Terror and security alert, was announced by January 9th followed by French military and Police force grouping and performing a massive manhunt for the two perpetrators and the hostages they had taken at the time. People gathered worried for their loved ones and friends as they watched and listened for the next availability of information on the attack. It became known to us that two of the three terrorists were brothers named Cherif and Said Kouachi had planned this attack after reading a satirical article and cartoon depicting the Islamic religion and peoples in a comical, and to some, offensive way. They then stormed a building on January 7, 2015, the wrong building. They then went to the actual building and asked the front receptionists for the directions to the staff, then shot and killed the caretaker of the building and took the building. The days of fear continued with great loss and pain as Paris and the rest of the world watched on, trying to aid as much as we could.
By January 11th, over two million people and forty world leaders gathered in reverence for the attack and its victims. We gathered and spoke for those being held, and for those lives lost to the days of terror, for those who could and cannot. The phrase Je Suis Charlie, I am Charlie, could be heard around the world to support the newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the loss. WE used this as a symbol that we stand with them and feel their pain in the world wide fight against terror, against the obstruction of our rights.  But Je Suis Charlie gained more meaning, the meaning that includes freedom to speak and express without the fear of an attack on you and other innocents, involved or not.