Thursday, January 8, 2015


Boulevard de Sébastopol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Boulevard de Sébastopol is an important roadway in ParisFrance, which serves to delimit the1st and 2nd arrondissements from the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of the city.
The boulevard is 1.3 km in length, starting from the place du Châtelet and ends at the boulevard Saint-Denis, when it becomes the Boulevard de Strasbourg. The boulevard is a main thoroughfare, and consists of four vehicular lanes, one of which is reserved for buses.
Although the road is line with some shops and restaurants, its importance is that of a thoroughfare running north-south in central Paris. It separates Le Marais from Les Halles.


Boulevard de Sébastopol, near the place du Chatelet
The boulevard de Sébastopol is one of the most important roads opened up by the Baron Haussmann during his transformation of Paris in the 1850s. It was conceived as a major artery running a north–south axis across Paris, leading to the Gare de l'Est.
The road was christened Boulevard du Centre when it was opened in 1854. Following Napoléon III's victory at the port of Sevastopol, in the Crimea of 8 September 1855, it was given its current name.
For several years, the name belonged to the road known since 1867 as Boulevard Saint-Michel, along the Rive Gauche up to Rue Cujas.

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blvd de sebastopol - Google Search

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  • Boulevard de Sébastopol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaébastopol
    The Boulevard de Sébastopol is an important roadway in Paris, France, which serves to delimit the 1st and 2nd arrondissements from the 3rd and 4th ...
  • Safety Problems Blvd de Sebastopol? - Paris Forum - TripAdvisor

    <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> › ... › Paris › Paris Travel Forum
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    Oct 28, 2011 - The apartment is on Blvd de Sebastopol, near Rue des Lombards, about 4-5 blocks north of the Seine. It sounds like east of Sebastopol is lively ...
  • Washington Post opinions section publishes controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoon

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    In Thursday’s print edition, the Washington Post op-ed page is publishing the controversial cartoon of Charlie Hebdo magazine spoofing the prophet Muhammad — the very piece of satire that prompted the 2011 fire-bombing of the publication’s Paris offices. (See a PDF of the full page here.) The cartoon depicted Muhammad saying, “100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing.” That drawing and many others that align with its edgy and often offensive spirit may have motivated terrorists on Wednesday to unleash a heinous and deadly attack that claimed the lives of 12 people. According toreports on the attack, the perpetrators could be heard saying, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad.”
    Samples of Charlie Hebdo’s work thus might appear critical to explaining this act of terrorism. Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of the Washington Post (and boss of the Erik Wemple Blog), said the following about his rationale for publishing the cartoon: “I think seeing the cover will help readers understand what this is all about.”
    But many mainstream U.S. media feel otherwise: The Associated Press, CNN, the New York Times, MSNBC, NBC News and others have all shunned the images under one rationale or another. The New York Times has an expansive explanation: “Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.” That’s from an official statement provided to the Erik Wemple Blog. Newer media outlets like Gawker, the Daily Beast and BuzzFeed have published the images.
    Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
    Read the whole story
    · ·

    Two Brothers Suspected in Killings Were Known to French Intelligence Services

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    PARIS — When Chérif Kouachi first came to the attention of the French authorities as a possible terrorist a decade ago, he was in his early 20s and, according to testimony during a 2008 Paris trial, had dreamed of attacking Jewish targets in France. Under the influence of a radical Paris preacher, however, he decided that fighting American troops in Iraq presented a better outlet for his commitment to jihad.
    On Wednesday, Mr. Kouachi, according to investigators, returned to his original plan of waging holy war in France. Along with his older brother Said and a third French Muslim of North African descent, he was named as one of three who were involved in an assault on a satirical newspaper in Paris that left at least 12 people dead.
    Chérif and Said, ages 32 and 34, are suspected of being the masked gunmen who entered the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper at 10 Rue Nicolas-Appert in the 11th Arrondissement on Wednesday morning and slaughtered members of the paper’s staff and two police officers with Kalashnikov automatic weapons.
    According to the authorities, the third and youngest suspect, Hamyd Mourad, 18, drove the getaway car. Mr. Mourad turned himself in late Wednesday at a police station in Charleville-Mézières in northern France. Le Point, a leading French newsmagazine, said that the two brothers had both been known by the intelligence services, and that Mr. Mourad was unemployed. It said that the police had identified the suspects after one left his identification papers in the abandoned Citroën vehicle used to escape after the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
    The massacre, which singled out cartoonists and other staff members at a newspaper that frequently mocked Islam, Christianity and all forms of religious and secular authority, left France stunned. It also raised questions about how Chérif Kouachi, so well known to the police for so many years, and his brother had managed to conceal their intentions. Part of the answer may be that they appear to have moved smoothly between normal immigrant society and an extremist Islamist underground. Born in the 10th Arrondissement, they came from secular backgrounds and initially drifted into petty delinquencies, not religious fanaticism.
    Libération, a French newspaper, described Chérif Kouachi as an orphan whose parents were Algerian immigrants. It said he was raised in foster care in Rennes, in western France, and trained as a fitness instructor before moving to Paris, where he lived with his brother Said in the home of a convert to Islam. He held menial jobs, working at times as a pizza delivery man, shop assistant and fishmonger.
    He was first arrested in 2005 in connection with a case centered on Farid Benyettou, a 26-year-old janitor-turned-preacher who gave sermons calling for jihad in Iraq and justifying suicide bombings. Among Mr. Benyettou’s would-be recruits was Chérif Kouachi, then 22, who was detained as he prepared to leave for Syria, the first leg of a trip he hoped would take him to Iraq.
    Brought to trial in 2008, he was presented by his lawyer, Vincent Ollivier, as a confused chameleon who, when not attending classes on jihad by Mr. Benyettou, smoked marijuana, listened to rap music and described himself as an “occasional Muslim.”
    The Iraq recruitment group, known as the 19th Arrondissement network, sent at least a dozen Parisians to fight in Iraq, prosecutors asserted.
    Chérif’s interest in radical Islam, it was said at the 2008 trial, was rooted in his fury over the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003, particularly the mistreatment of Muslims held at Abu Ghraib prison. Chérif was given a three-year sentence for involvement in a network that recruited young French Muslims to fight alongside Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq who was killed in an American airstrike in 2006. Having already spent three years in pretrial detention, he was swiftly released.
    Read the whole story
    · · ·

    The Charlie Hebdo Massacre in Paris

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    The brutal terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday has badly shaken France. But the French have reacted with a fierce determination to defend their freedoms. President François Hollande, speaking from outside the magazine’s office a couple of hours after the murder of 12 people, was crystal clear: This was an assault, he said, on “the expression of freedom” that is the “spirit of the republic.”
    Two heavily armed attackers, who apparently knew the magazine’s staff would be gathered around a table late on Wednesday morning for a weekly editorial meeting, forced themselves into Charlie Hebdo’s office and shot 10 people dead, including the top editor and prominent cartoonists. Two policemen were also killed. At least 11 other victims were wounded. The gunmen then fled with a third accomplice in a waiting car. One of the three later surrendered to police, but the other two, who are brothers, remain at large.
    The editors, journalists and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo reveled in controversy and relished hitting nerves. The magazine’s editorial director, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was killed in the attack, had scoffed at any suggestion that the magazine should tone down its trademark satire to appease anyone. For him, free expression was nothing without the right to offend. And Charlie Hebdo has been an equal-opportunity offender: Muslims, Jews and Christians — not to mention politicians of all stripes — have been targets of buffoonish, vulgar caricatures and cartoons that push every hot button with glee.
    In 2006, Charlie Hebdo reprinted controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that originally appeared in a Danish newspaper. In 2011, the magazine’s offices were firebombed the day after it published a special issue guest-edited, it said, by Muhammad called “Charia Hebdo” — a play on the word in French for Shariah law. The cover of Wednesday’s issue poked fun at the French novelist Michel Houellebecq, whose newest book imagines France as an Islamic state in the year 2022.
    There are some who will say that Charlie Hebdo tempted the ire of Islamists one too many times, as if coldblooded murder is the price to pay for putting out a magazine. The massacre was motivated by hate. It is absurd to suggest that the way to avoid terrorist attacks is to let the terrorists dictate standards in a democracy.
    This is also no time for peddlers of xenophobia to try to smear all Muslims with a terrorist brush. It is a shame that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front party, which has made political gains stoking anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim fears, immediately sought political advantage with talk of “denial and hypocrisy” about “Islamic fundamentalism.”
    President Hollande has wisely appealed for national unity. His sentiments were echoed by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who asked the public to avoid the temptation to “lump together” terrorists with Muslims, and he called for a united front against terrorism. Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, expressed his community’s anguish over the attack. He did not mince words: “This is a deafening declaration of war,” he said.
    Just days after the 9/11 attacks, an editorial in the newspaper Le Monde declared: “We are all Americans.” In France, “Je suis Charlie” — “I am Charlie” — has gone viral as the words to show solidarity with the victims at Charlie Hebdo. This attack was an assault on freedom everywhere. On Wednesday, the American Embassy in Paris put that message on its social media accounts.
    Read the whole story
    · ·

    Egypt’s Appalling Crackdown on Gays

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    Even if they were acquitted on the ludicrous charge of “debauchery,” the 26 Egyptian men on trial in the government’s latest crackdown on gays are likely to suffer a lifetime of public scorn.
    Over the past two years, there has been no shortage of travesties and injustices in Egypt’s courtrooms. The country’s ousted dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was sentenced to life in prison in 2012, lying on a stretcher placed within a cage, only to be acquitted two years later in a subsequent proceeding once his allies were in power again. Mr. Mubarak’s Islamist successor, Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from power in a military coup, was locked up in a soundproof cage at his trial last year. Three journalists employed by the Doha-based Al Jazeera English network were outrageously sentenced to lengthy prison terms in June on allegations that they had aided the Muslim Brotherhood, following a ridiculous trial that turned them into scapegoats of a fight between Egypt and Qatar.
    The trial underway now seems particularly cruel. On Dec. 7, Mona Iraqi, a television journalist who works for a pro-government channel, barged into a traditional hammam, or bathhouse, in Cairo, to document what she billed as “the biggest den of group perversion” in the Egyptian capital. The police, operating in concert with her, promptly raided the establishment. Ms. Iraqi posted photos of naked men being corralled by authorities and promised viewers, in a since-deleted Facebook post, that her exposé would feature the “whole story of the dens for spreading AIDS in Egypt.”
    The Egyptian government has persecuted gay men with varying degrees of intensity over the past two decades. The latest crackdown has driven the gay community underground like never before. It is not entirely clear why Egypt’s military leaders have ordered, or condoned, the prosecutions of men accused of being gay. In a deeply conservative Muslim country, demonizing sexual minorities has served in the past as an effective way of deflecting attention from actual problems the state has failed to fix.
    As part of the investigation, most of the men taken into custody were subjected to forensic anal exams, a depraved practice denounced by human rights groups and discredited by international medical professionals. The tests, performed in an effort to determine whether the men had had anal sex, are used as evidence in judicial proceedings.
    As the trial, which began on Dec. 21, resumed on Sunday, some of the defendants, standing inside a courtroom cage, used hoodies to cover their faces. Some wept, according to reporters allowed inside the courtroom. The judge said on Monday that he would issue a verdict on Jan. 12. Gay sex is not explicitly illegal under Egyptian law, so authorities have traditionally charged them with “debauchery,” a broad term typically used to prosecute sex workers.
    Egypt’s treatment of gays is part of a dismal human rights record that has only gotten worse in recent months. The Obama administration and American lawmakers have not done enough to denounce the abuses of an increasingly authoritarian Egyptian government, which is one of the largest recipients of American military aid. As Congress convenes this week, influential lawmakers should take a fresh look at the plight of vulnerable Egyptians and speak out on their behalf. Among them are Representative Kay Granger, a Texas Republican who has fought efforts to pare back Egypt’s military package, and Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
    The 26 men on trial now may never be able to shed the stigma this prosecution has inflicted on them, their careers and their families. But strong international condemnation may keep authorities in Egypt from victimizing more men.
    Read the whole story
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    Page 2

    No Justice, No Police -

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio has been in office barely a year, and already forces of entropy are roaming the streets, turning their backs on the law, defying civil authority and trying to unravel the social fabric.
    No, not squeegee-men or turnstile-jumpers. We’re talking about the cops.
    For the second straight week, police officers across the city have all but stopped writing tickets and severely cut down the number of arrests. The Times reported that in the week ending Sunday, only 347 criminal summonses were issued citywide, down from 4,077 over the same period last year. Parking and traffic tickets were down by more than 90 percent. In Coney Island, ticketing and summonses fell to zero.
    The city has been placed in an absurd position, with its police commissioner, William Bratton — a pioneer of “broken windows” policing who has just written a long, impassioned defense of that strategy as an essential crime-fighting tool — leading a force that is refusing to carry it out.
    Police union officials deny responsibility for the mass inaction. But Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said officers had talked among themselves and “it became contagious,” apparently like the flu.
    Call this what it is: a reckless, coordinated escalation of a war between the police unions and Mr. de Blasio and a hijacking of law-enforcement policy by those who do not set law-enforcement policy. This deplorable gesture is bound to increase tension in a city already rattled over the killing by the police of an unarmed man, Eric Garner, last summer, the executions of two officers in Brooklyn last month, and the shootings on Monday of two plainclothes officers in the Bronx.
    Mr. Bratton spoke delicately at a news conference on Monday. He said there could be other explanations, like officers being too busy handling police-reform demonstrations and attending funerals. He promised to investigate — and to “deal with it very appropriately, if we have to.”
    Mr. de Blasio’s critics foretold doom when he was elected a year ago. They said graffiti, muggings and other crime would rush back with a vengeance. They were dead wrong — crime rates continued to decline to historic lows in 2014 — but now it seems the cops are trying to help prove them right.
    The madness has to stop. The problem is not that a two-week suspension of “broken windows” policing is going to unleash chaos in the city. The problem is that cops who refuse to do their jobs and revel in showing contempt to their civilian leaders are damaging the social order all by themselves.
    Mr. de Blasio, who has been cautious since the shootings, found his voice on Monday, saying for the first time that the police officers’ protests of turning their backs at the slain officers’ funerals had been disrespectful to the families of the dead. He was right, but he needs to do more.
    He should appeal directly to the public and say plainly that the police are trying to extort him and the city he leads.
    If the Police Department’s current commanders cannot get the cops to do their jobs, Mr. de Blasio should consider replacing them.
    He should invite the Justice Department to determine if the police are guilty of civil rights violations in withdrawing policing from minority communities.
    He should remind the police that they are public employees, under oath to uphold city and state laws.
    If Mr. de Blasio’s critics are right and the city is coming unglued, it is not because of what he has done. He was elected by an overwhelming vote, because he promised action on police reform, starting with the end of stop-and-frisk tactics that corralled so many innocent New Yorkers into the criminal-justice system. The city got the mayor it wanted — and then, because of Mr. de Blasio, it got Mr. Bratton.
    Mr. Bratton’s faith in “broken windows” needs rethinking. But nothing will be fixed as long as police officers are refusing to do their jobs.
    video emerged this week of a New York cop, apparently with nothing better to do, horsing around on the hood of a squad car, falling off and hitting his head. It would be hard to invent a more fitting image of the ridiculous — and dangerous — place this atmosphere of sullen insubordination has taken us.
    Read the whole story
    · · ·

    The N.Y.P.D. Protests: An Officer's View

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    ON Sunday, at the funeral of the slain New York City police officer Wenjian Liu, his grieving father described how his son would call him at the end of each day’s tour of duty, just to let him know he was O.K.
    This sort of habit is familiar to many cops. When I was assigned to the Fugitive Division of the New York City Police Department, in the ’90s, I would get out of bed at 3 o’clock each morning, trying not to wake my wife. I would gently kiss her goodbye and leave for work. By 5 a.m. my team and I would be executing the first of several warrants assigned to us for the day. (Mornings are the best time to catch bad guys.) We were arresting the most wanted and dangerous criminals in the city, and the work was, to put it mildly, stressful. By 9 a.m. we would be back in our office processing our arrests, and I would call my wife without fail, in case she had overslept, and to let her know that I was O.K. and still in one piece.
    Years later, during a tearful venting, my wife confided that those calls were seldom needed to wake her because she was usually lying in bed, tossing and turning and fearing that she would get another kind of call. She couldn’t rest until she had word that I was off the streets and safe for another day. I accepted the dangers of police work because I loved doing it and understood its value to society, but I sometimes regret having dragged her into the life with me.
    The murders of Officer Liu and his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos, have hit me and my fellow officers especially hard, in ways that may be difficult for civilians, and certain politicians, to fully comprehend. During my 20 years on the job (I retired in 2003), I attended far too many funerals for cops killed in the line of duty. They were all sad and wrenching affairs. But this is different. Getting killed while, say, investigating an armed robbery — as almost happened on Monday to two New York City police officers in the Bronx — is something all cops know can occur, and we accept it. But the killing of Officers Liu and Ramos was a coldblooded assassination.
    These brave men were shot without warning, sitting in their patrol car while looking for crime, something every cop on the street does every day. They were like two shepherds guarding their flock, and they were brutally murdered for it.
    This act has unleashed a torrent of anger and grief among the members of the Police Department, who take these vile murders personally, and a heartening outpouring of sympathy from ordinary New Yorkers, who instinctively grasp what it has meant at a moment when the police feel demonized, demoralized and, at times, literally under assault. But not everyone is so understanding. The gestures of protest by many officers toward Mayor Bill de Blasio — including turning their backs to him when he appeared at both officers’ funerals — have been characterized in some quarters as squandering the credibility of the department and reeking of self-pity.
    When I hear this sort of thing, my blood pressure goes through the roof. Mr. de Blasio is more than any other public figure in this city responsible for feelings of demoralization among the police. It did not help to tell the world about instructing his son, Dante, who is biracial, to be wary of the police, or to publicly signal support of anti-police protesters (for instance, by standing alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton, a staunch backer of the protests). If there is any self-pity involved, which I doubt, it is only because we lack respect from our elected officials and parts of the media. It has taken two dead cops for some people to take a step back and realize what a difficult job cops have.
    Most cops I know feel tired of being pushed to do more and more, and then even more. More police productivity has meant far less crime, but at a certain point New York began to feel like, yes, a police state, and the police don’t like it any more than you do. Tremendous successes were achieved in battling crime and making this city a much better place to live and work in and visit. But the time has probably come for the Police Department to ease up on the low-level “broken-windows” stuff while re-evaluating the impact it may or may not have on real, serious crime. No one will welcome this more than the average cop on the beat, who has been pressed to find crime where so much less of it exists.
    Unfortunately this will require a mayor with far more finesse and political savvy and credibility with law enforcement than Mr. de Blasio appears to have. His statement on Monday that the New York City Police Department is the greatest in the world came too late. He should have been acknowledging our accomplishments months ago, instead of aligning himself with grandstanding opportunists. His words and actions before the killings of Officers Liu and Ramos showed a contempt for the police all too common on the left, and it is this contempt that the officers who have turned their backs to him are responding to.
    But New York City must be governed and its citizens protected, and that means that the Police Department and the mayor will have to find a way to get along. The divide between us is now vast and bitter. For the healing to begin, Mr. de Blasio must find a way to sound like he actually means it when he compliments us and to follow that up with concrete actions that demonstrate respect and true understanding.
    Until then he’ll continue to be speaking to a lot of backs in blue.
    Read the whole story
    · · ·

    F.B.I. Says Little Doubt North Korea Hit Sony

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    WASHINGTON — The F.B.I.’s director, James B. Comey, said on Wednesday that the United States had concluded that North Korea was behind the destructive attacks on Sony Pictures partly because the hackers failed to mask their location when they broke into the company’s servers.
    Mr. Comey said that instead of routing some of the attacks and messages through decoy servers, the hackers sent them directly from Internet addresses in North Korea.
    Though Mr. Comey did not offer more details about the government’s evidence in a speech in New York, senior government officials said that F.B.I. analysts discovered that the hackers made a critical error by logging into both their Facebook account and Sony’s servers from North Korean Internet addresses. It was clear, the officials said, that hackers quickly recognized their mistake. In several cases, after mistakenly logging in directly, they quickly backtracked and rerouted their attacks and messages through decoy computers abroad. 
    Before the attacks in November, Sony Pictures was threatened in a series of messages posted to a Facebook account set up by a group calling itself “Guardians of Peace.” After Facebook closed that account in November, the group changed its messaging platform and began sending threats in emails to Sony and on the anonymous posting site Pastebin. As far back as last June, North Korean officials wrote in a letter to the United Nations that “The Interview,” a Sony comedy about two journalists hired to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un, was an act of terrorism.
    Responding to critics who have questioned why the United States thinks North Korea was the source of the attacks, Mr. Comey said on Wednesday that the hackers became “sloppy” as they tried to cover their tracks. He acknowledged that the North Koreans had used decoys but did not elaborate about the specific mistakes the hackers made that gave him “high confidence” the country was behind the attack.
    Mr. Comey urged the United States intelligence community to declassify all the information that showed that the hackers had used such servers, something that could take months
    Mr. Comey’s remarks came a little more than three weeks after President Obama took the unusual step of publicly naming the North Koreans as the culprit. Last week, American officials imposed a series of sanctions on senior North Korean officials as retaliation for the attack.
    The slip-up by the North Koreans was similar to one two years ago that led American officials to conclude that hackers inside the Chinese military’s Unit 61398 was behind attacks on thousands of companies and government agencies abroad. In that case, the Chinese hackers logged into their Facebook and Twitter accounts from the same infrastructure they used for their attacks.
    Facebook closed the Guardians of Peace Facebook account in November. A Facebook spokesman said the company could not comment on specific accounts or law enforcement requests. In the past, the F.B.I. has compelled companies like Facebook to provide it with specific information about user accounts, including logs of user activity and Internet protocol addresses, through court orders.
    The Sony breach has become a focal point for the F.B.I. and other officials because it was one of the rare attacks on a big corporation that the United States has attributed to a foreign government.
    Mr. Comey made his remarks about the Sony breach in a speech at the International Conference on Cyber Security in New York. The four-day event, coordinated by the F.B.I., brings together law enforcement officials and Internet security experts from around the world to discuss and analyze techniques hackers use to breach corporate computer networks.
    Shortly after the F.B.I. blamed the North Korean government for the Sony attack, some digital security experts began to raise doubts about the government’s claim. Working off a sliver of the digital evidence from the attack — samples of malware that were distributed to security researchers — several security researchers said they were skeptical of government claims that the attackers were North Korean.
    Critics noted that an extortion letter posted by the attackers suggested that they may have been criminals or embittered employees, not a nation state. They suggested that the fact that the attackers coded malware off computers with Korean language settings could have been faked, and they said that the I.P. addresses used in the attack were also used in other attacks. Some at Taia Global, a organizer of cybersecurity conferences, said a linguistic analysis of 2,000 words that the attackers had posted online persuaded them that the attackers could have been North Korean but were more likely Russian.
    But the F.B.I. and other security experts say those critics have had access to only some of the evidence from the attack. They say the accumulation of the evidence collected by the F.B.I., Sony and Mandiant, a security firm hired by Sony, makes clear that North Korea was the culprit.
    Just before Mr. Comey made his statements, a leading cybersecurity expert took those critics to task.
    “One of the joys of the Internet is that anyone with a keyboard and a connection can be an expert,“ James A. Lewis, a director and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote in an essay posted online on Wednesday. “Opinion substitutes for research. The uninformed debate over the Sony cyberincident is the most recent example of the Internet’s limitations.”
    Mr. Lewis said a close reading of classified documents leaked last year by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, made clear that American intelligence officials maintained deep access in North Korea’s networks.
    The real debate, Mr. Lewis said, was one of government mistrust by the cybersecurity community, particularly after the revelations by Mr. Snowden.
    On Wednesday, some skeptics of the government’s claims, like Sean Sullivan, a cybersecurity marketer at F-Secure, a security firm based in Helsinki, said the government should release evidence it collected from the Facebook account of Sony’s attackers.
    “Revealing what Facebook knows about that account and how it was used can’t be something the F.B.I. needs to keep classified. Just can’t,” Mr. Sullivan said. “It is a very simple request to ask what was discovered when investigated. Very.”
    But some of the most vocal critics of the government’s claims, like Marc Rogers, a security researcher at CloudFlare, said they were still not convinced. “If the government had laid out its attribution in the beginning, that may have quelled the criticism, but the evidence that’s been put before me and many of my colleagues is flimsy.”
    Read the whole story
    · · · ·

    ‘Dangerous Moment’ for Europe, as Fear and Resentment Grow

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    LONDON — The sophisticated, military-style strike Wednesday on a French newspaper known for satirizing Islam staggered a continent already seething with anti-immigrant sentiments in some quarters, feeding far-right nationalist parties like France’s National Front.
    “This is a dangerous moment for European societies,” said Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London. “With increasing radicalization among supporters of jihadist organizations and the white working class increasingly feeling disenfranchised and uncoupled from elites, things are coming to a head.”
    Olivier Roy, a French scholar of Islam and radicalism, called the Paris assault — the most deadly terrorist attack on French soil since the Algerian war ended in the early 1960s — “a quantitative and therefore qualitative turning point,” noting the target and the number of victims. “This was a maximum-impact attack,” he said. “They did this to shock the public, and in that sense they succeeded.”
    Anti-immigrant attitudes have been on the rise in recent years in Europe, propelled in part by a moribund economy and high unemployment, as well as increasing immigration and more porous borders. The growing resentments have lifted the fortunes of established parties like the U.K. Independence Party in Britain and the National Front, as well as lesser-known groups like Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West, which assembled 18,000 marchers in Dresden, Germany, on Monday.
    In Sweden, where there have been three recent attacks on mosques, the anti-immigrant, anti-Islamist Sweden Democrats Party has been getting about 15 percent support in recent public opinion polls.
    Paris was traumatized by the attack, with widespread fears of another. “We feel less and less safe,” said Didier Cantat, 34, standing outside the police barriers at the scene. “If it happened today, it will happen again, maybe even worse.”
    Mr. Cantat spoke for many when he said the attacks could fuel greater anti-immigrant sentiment. “We are told Islam is for God, for peace,” he said. “But when you see this other Islam, with the jihadists, I don’t see peace, I see hatred. So people can’t tell which is the real Islam.”
    The newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in its raucous, vulgar and sometimes commercially driven effort to offend every Islamic piety, including the figure of the Prophet Muhammad, became a symbol of an aggressive French secularism that saw its truest enemy in the rise of conservative Islam in France, which is estimated to have the largest Muslim population in Europe.
    On Wednesday, Islamic radicals struck back. “This secular atheism is an act of war in this context,” said Andrew Hussey, a Paris-based professor of postcolonial studies. Professor Hussey is the author of “The French Intifada,” which describes the tangled relations between France and its Muslims, still marked by colonialism and the Algerian war.
    “Politically, the official left in France has been in denial of the conflict between France and the Arab world,” Professor Hussey said. “But the French in general sense it.”
    The attack left some Muslims fearing a backlash. “Some people when they think terrorism, think Muslims,” said Arnaud N’Goma, 26, as he took a cigarette break outside the bank where he works.
    Samir Elatrassi, 27, concurred, saying that “Islamophobia is going to increase more and more.”
    “When some people see these kinds of terrorists, they conflate them with other Muslims,” he said. “And it’s the extreme right that’s going to benefit from this.”
    The German interior minister, Thomas de Mazière, told reporters on Wednesday: “The situation is serious. There is reason for worry, and for precautions, but not for panic.”
    With each terrorist attack, however, the acceptability of anti-immigrant policies seems to reach deeper into the mainstream. In Britain, for example, which also has a large Muslim population, the U.K. Independence Party has called for a British exit from the European Union and sharp controls on immigration, emphasizing what it sees as dangers to British values and identity. The mainstream parties have competed in promising more controls on immigration, too.
    “Large parts of the European public are latently anti-Muslim, and increasing mobilization of these forces is now reaching into the center of society,” Mr. Neumann said. “If we see more of these incidents, and I think we will, we will see a further polarization of these European societies in the years to come.”
    Those who will suffer the most from such a backlash, he said, are the Muslim populations of Europe, “the ordinary normal Muslims who are trying to live their lives in Europe.”
    Nowhere in Europe are the tensions greater than in constitutionally secular France, with as many as six million Muslims, a painful colonial history in Algeria, Syria and North Africa, and a militarily bold foreign policy. That history has been aggravated by a period of governmental and economic weakness, when France seems incapable of serious structural, social and economic reform.
    The mood of failure and paralysis is widespread in France. The Charlie Hebdo attack came on the publication day of a contentious new novel, “Submission,” by Michel Houellebecq, which describes the victory of Islam in France and the gradual collaboration of the society with its new rulers from within. Mr. Houellebecq, like the well-known caricaturists and editors who were killed at Charlie Hebdo, has been a symbol of French artistic liberty and license, and his publishers, Flammarion, were reported to be concerned that he and they could be another target.
    But the atmosphere has been heightened by the rise of the National Front and its leader, Marine Le Pen, who runs ahead of the Socialist Party in the polls, campaigning on the threat Islam poses to French values and nationhood.
    There was much recent attention to another best-selling book by a conservative social critic, Éric Zemmour, called “The French Suicide,” attacking the left and the state for being powerless to defend France against Americanization, globalization, immigration and, of course, Islam. Another new novel, by another well-known French writer, Jean Rolin, called “The Events,” envisions a broken France policed by a United Nations peacekeeping force after a civil war.
    “This attack is double honey for the National Front,” said Camille Grand, director of the French Foundation for Strategic Research. “Le Pen says everywhere that Islam is a massive threat, and that France should not support attacks in Iraq and instead defend the homeland and not create threats by going abroad, so they can naturally take advantage of it.”
    The military-style attack on Wednesday creates major security questions for France, said a senior French official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on such a delicate matter. “We knew this would happen,” he said. “But we didn’t know how efficient it would be.”
    After a series of three apparently lone-wolf attacks on crowds around Christmas in France, and other attacks in Ottawa and in Sydney, Australia, there was speculation that this attack might also be a response to the September call of a spokesman of the Islamic State, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, for supporters to strike at domestic targets of the countries attacking the Islamic State.
    Mr. Grand noted that at least 2,000 young French citizens have traveled to fight with the militants in Iraq and Syria. “So how do we manage our Muslim population?” he asked. “This kind of attack is very difficult to detect or prevent,” he said, adding that the state must not overreact, which is what the radicals want.
    Still, he said, even given that the number of radical Muslims is a tiny minority in France, “there are definitely more than 50 crazy guys,” so it will be important to know whether the attackers had been to Syria or “wanted to go and did this instead.”
    François Heisbourg, a defense analyst and special adviser to the Foundation for Strategic Research, in Paris, said that the professional military acumen of the attack reminded him of the commandos who invaded Mumbai, India, in July 2011. “This is much closer to a military operation than anything we’ve experienced in France, and that may limit the political impact,” he said.
    “Between this attack and whatever real societal problems we have in France, there is a great gap,” Mr. Heisbourg said. “These were not corner-shop guys from the suburbs.”
    The mood in Paris, near the scene of the attack, was both apprehensive and angry. Ilhem Bonik, 38, said that she had lived in Paris for 14 years and had never been so afraid. “I am Arab, Tunisian, Muslim, and I support the families, the journalists and all the people involved,” she said. “This is against Islam.”
    When journalists are killed for expressing their views, it is one step away from burning books, said Annette Gerhard, 60. “It’s like Kristallnacht,” Ms. Gerhard said, noting that her family had died in Nazi deportations. “There’s no respect for human life.”
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    One Suspect Surrenders in Attack on French Newspaper; Two Others at Large

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    PARIS — The police organized an enormous manhunt across the Paris region on Wednesday for three suspects they said were involved in a brazen and methodical midday slaughter at a satirical newspaper that had lampooned Islam.
    The terrorist attack by masked gunmen on the newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, left 12 people dead — including the top editor, prominent cartoonists and police officers — and was among the deadliest in postwar France. The killers escaped, traumatizing the city and sending shock waves through Europe and beyond.
    Officials said late Wednesday that the suspects had been identified and that two were brothers. They were identified as Said and Cherif Kouachi, 32 and 34, and Hamyd Mourad, 18. French news reports said the brothers, known to intelligence services, had been born in Paris, raising the prospect that homegrown Muslim extremists were responsible.
    Early Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor said that Mr. Mourad had walked into a police station in Charleville-Mézières, about 145 miles northeast of Paris, and surrendered.
    “He introduced himself and was put in custody,” said the spokeswoman, Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre. The assault threatened to deepen the distrust of France’s large Muslim population, coming at a time when Islamic radicalism has become a central concern of security officials across Europe. In the space of a few minutes, the assault also crystallized the culture clash between religious extremism and the West’s devotion to free expression. Spontaneous rallies expressing support for Charlie Hebdo sprung up later in the day in Paris, throughout Europe and in Union Square in New York.
    Officials and witnesses said at least two gunmen carried out the attack with assault weapons and military-style precision. President François Hollande of France called it a display of extraordinary “barbarism” that was “without a doubt” an act of terrorism. He declared Thursday a national day of mourning.
    He also raised the nationwide terror alert to its highest level, saying several terrorist attacks had been thwarted in recent weeks as security officials here and elsewhere in Europe have grown increasingly wary of the return of young citizens from fighting in Syria and Iraq.
    The French authorities put some schools on lockdown for the day; added security at houses of worship, news media offices and transportation centers; and conducted random searches on the Paris Métro.
    The Paris prosecutor, François Molins, said that according to witnesses, the attackers had screamed “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great!” during the attack, which the police characterized as a “slaughter.”
    Corinne Rey, a cartoonist known as Coco, who was at the newspaper office during the attack, told Le Monde that the attackers spoke fluent French and said that they were part of Al Qaeda.
    An amateur video of the assailants’ subsequent gunfight with the police showed the men shouting: “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” The video, the source of which could not be verified, also showed the gunmen killing a police officer as he lay wounded on a nearby street.
    The victims at Charlie Hebdo included some of the country’s most revered and iconoclastic cartoonists. The weekly’s editorial director Stéphane Charbonnier, had already been receiving light police protection after earlier threats, the police and Mr. Molins said. An officer assigned to guard the newspaper’s offices and Mr. Charbonnier was among the victims.
    A visual summary of the attack and the events that followed.
    OPEN Graphic
    As news of the assault spread, there was an outpouring of grief mixed with expressions of dismay and demonstrations of solidarity for free speech.
    By the evening, not far from the site of the attack in east Paris, an estimated 35,000 — young and old — gathered at Place de La République. Some chanted, “Charlie! Charlie!” or held signs reading, “I am Charlie” — the message posted on the newspaper’s website.
    Vigils of hundreds and thousands formed in other cities around France and elsewhere.
    Mr. Molins said that two men armed with AK-47 rifles and wearing black masks had forced their way into the weekly’s offices at 10 Rue Nicolas-Appert in the 11th Arrondissement, about 11:30 a.m. They opened fire at people in the lobby before making their way to the newsroom on the second floor, interrupting a staff meeting and firing at the assembled journalists.
    The attackers then fled outside, where they clashed three times with the police, shooting one officer as he lay on the ground on a nearby street. They then fled in a black Citroën and headed north on the right bank of Paris. During their escape, prosecutors said, they crashed into another car and injured its female driver, before robbing and abducting a bystander. The police said that the black Citroën was later found abandoned in the 19th arrondissement.
    The precision with which the assailants handled their weapons suggested that they had received military training, the police said. During the attack, which the police said lasted a matter of minutes, several journalists hid under their desks or on the roof, witnesses said.
    One journalist, who was at the weekly during the attack and asked that her name not be used, texted a friend after the shooting: “I’m alive. There is death all around me. Yes, I am there. The jihadists spared me.”
    Treasured by many, hated by some and indiscriminate in its offensiveness, Charlie Hebdo has long reveled in provoking.
    CreditVia Reuters
    In 2011, the office of the weekly was badly damaged by a firebomb after it published a spoof issue “guest edited” by the Prophet Muhammad to salute the victory of an Islamist party in Tunisian elections. It had announced plans to publish a special issue renamed “Charia Hebdo,” a play on the word in French for Shariah law.
    Police said the dead included four celebrated cartoonists at the weekly, including Mr. Charbonnier, known as Charb, Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.
    Mr. Charbonnier stoked controversy and drew the ire of many in the Muslim community in 2006 when he republished satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that had been published in a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. His last cartoon for Charlie Hebdo featured an armed man who appeared to be a Muslim fighter with a headline that read: “Still no attacks in France. Wait! We have until the end of January to give our best wishes.”
    Michael J. Morell, a former deputy director of the C.I.A. and now a consultant to CBS News, said it was unclear whether the attackers acted on their own or were directed by organized groups. He called the motive of the attackers ”absolutely clear: trying to shut down a media organization that lampooned the Prophet Muhammad.”
    “So, no doubt in my mind that this is terrorism,” he said.
    Mr. Morell added, “What we have to figure out here is the perpetrators and whether they were self-radicalized or whether they were individuals who fought in Syria and Iraq and came back, or whether they were actually directed by ISIS or Al Qaeda.”
    Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, one of France’s largest, expressed horror at the assault. “We are shocked and surprised that something like this could happen in the center of Paris. But where are we?” he was quoted saying by Europe1, a radio broadcaster.
    “We strongly condemn these kinds of acts and we expect the authorities to take the most appropriate measures.” He added: “This is a deafening declaration of war.”
    The attack comes as thousands of Europeans have gone to join jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria, further fueling concerns about Islamic radicalism and terrorism being imported. Those concerns have been particularly acute in France, where fears have grown that militants are bent on retaliation for the government’s support for the United States-led air campaign against jihadists with the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
    Last month, Prime Minister Manuel Valls ordered hundreds of additional military personnel onto the streets after a series of attacks across France raised alarms over Islamic terror.
    In Dijon and Nantes, a total of 23 people were injured when men drove vehicles into crowds, with one of the drivers shouting an Islamic rallying cry. The authorities depicted both drivers as mentally unstable. The attacks came after violence attributed to lone-wolf attackers in London in 2013, inCanada in October and last month in Sydney, Australia.
    In September, fighters in Algeria aligned with the Islamic State beheaded Hervé Gourdel, a 55-year-old mountaineering guide from Nice, and released a video documenting the murder. Mr. Gourdel was kidnapped after the Islamic State called on its supporters to wage war against Europeans to avenge airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
    President Obama issued a statement condemning the killings. “Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended,” he said.
    “France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials, and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.”
    Correction: January 7, 2015 
    An earlier version of this article misstated the location of the abandoned car believed to have been used by the gunmen, using information from the police. It was found in the 19th Arrondissement, not the 20th.
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    Injured Reid missing Senate’s start, but his presence will be felt over next two years

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    The person missing in Tuesday’s opening Senate session may be the chamber’s most important over the next two years.
    Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), after eight years as majority leader, had to miss his first day as minority leader as he recovers from a particularly violent exercise accident last week that left the right side of his face shattered. He also sustained three broken ribs.
    Announcing he would not be on hand for Republicans’ big moment as they officially took control of the Senate, Reid’s aides also revealed that he was suffering from a concussion and had been ordered by his doctors to stay at home in Washington for an undetermined amount of time.
    While he was not in attendance, Reid’s presence was felt.
    “Senator Reid is a former boxer. He’s tough. I know he’ll be back in fighting form soon enough. I wish him a speedy recovery,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of his longtime parliamentary sparring partner.
    Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) discusses opening of 114th Congress. (Nevada Senator Harry Reid via YouTube)
    Once he’s back, Reid will help dictate how the Senate functions over the next two years. Senate rules put great power in the minority leader’s hands, and as a practiced veteran of those obscure rules, Reid knows how to tie the chamber in knots when he so desires.
    However, after the November elections gave nine additional seats, and the majority, to McConnell’s side, Reid pledged to be less obstruction-minded than he believed his Republican counterparts had been during his time as majority leader.
    “I think the Republicans are going to find that the Democrats are a much better minority than, perhaps, they were, in terms of wanting to be constructive,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Democratic leader, who will temporarily fill in for Reid during his absence.
    In a video his staff released Tuesday afternoon, a bandaged Reid promised to keep fighting. “We’re going to continue to fight for good things for this country,” he said. “We understand the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, the middle class is being squeezed literally out of existence.”
    One remaining question is whether Reid, 75, will run for another six-year term in 2016. All signs point toward that, and that prospect has some wondering if the next two years will look a lot like the past two years — with a Senate minority leader, unpopular at home, running for reelection on a pledge that he will be able to deliver more when his party wins the majority.
    That’s what McConnell did in 2014, and his bid to push amendments that boosted his own reelection often led to procedural clashes that effectively shut down the Senate.
    Some centrist Democrats are embracing McConnell’s pledge of opening up debates, hoping to avoid the legislative graveyard of the previous four years that Democrats often bemoaned.
    “I would sure hope that we wouldn’t subscribe to the same thing we ridiculed,” said Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), who is the co-sponsor of the first bill to come to the floor, an effort to force President Obama to approve the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
    Other Democrats suggested that the president — who has been reluctant to veto legislation and has previously relied on the Senate to bottle things up — is more willing now to break out his veto pen, which will require a 67-vote threshold for Republicans to overcome.
    “The White House becomes a major player, and the president’s veto pen becomes majorly relevant, and 34 Democratic senators become decisive,” Durbin said.
    Republican leaders predicted that it could take a while for rank-and-file senators to adapt to their new freedoms. “It’s going to be a little turbulent getting started,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the new majority whip. “But once we start getting things going and people offer amendments and they get to vote on them, I think even the Democrats are going to say: ‘Hey, this is pretty good. At least we’re having a chance to get votes.’ ”
    The partisan breakdown, 54 Republicans and 46 members of the Democratic caucus, is almost identical to the deficit that Reid found himself in when he first became minority leader 12 years ago, when Republicans held 55 seats and seemed to have a stranglehold on the majority.
    At that time, he famously declared that “I would rather dance than fight,” and over the next two years he fought with the Bush White House over its handling of the Iraq war and domestic policy. Sometimes he knotted up the chamber and other times he let key things go through, including two Supreme Court justices.
    That stint as minority leader came after he had safely secured a full six-year term. This time he has to position himself for victory and his party to win back the majority.
    Democrats who had been briefed on his accident had been expecting the worst when they visited him Tuesday morning.
    “I was pleasantly surprised today. He’s made substantial progress in a short period of time. He was lucid, on his game, completely engaged when it came to the issues and debate that we are now facing,” Durbin said, explaining that Reid’s body was slung against a cabinet when an exercise band snapped. “Imagine going through the windshield of a car, what your face might look like. Well, the right side of his face is pretty badly beaten, with a lot of broken bones and bruising and discolorations, and then add three or four broken ribs to it.”
    Reid’s video appearance was designed to appeal to voters back home. He made light of the injury by mentioning boxers Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, whose fights in Las Vegas are regular sellouts.
    “I didn’t get this black eye by sparring with Manny, by challenging Floyd Mayweather,” Reid said. “I didn’t go bull riding. I wasn’t riding a motorcycle. I was exercising in my new home.”
    Of course, having been present for every other first day of Congress since 1983, Reid promised to return soon to his most natural habitat, the Senate floor.
    “I really have some homesickness, for a lack of better description,” he said.
    Paul Kane covers Congress and politics for the Washington Post.
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    Page 3

    Paris attack lacked hallmarks of Islamist assaults in West

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    The attack on the offices of satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo is the deadliest in recent history. Here are some of the major terror attacks in France in the last two decades. (Davin Coburn and Jorge Ribas/The Washington Post)
    The mass shooting at a satirical newspaper in France on Wednesday was a well-orchestrated assault by gunmen who fled the scene, setting it apart from most of the bombings and suicide attacks carried out by Islamist militants in the West.
    The ruthlessness of the attack and the nature of the target — a publication known for ridiculing Islam and other religions — suggested possible ties to a radical organization, U.S. officials and others said. But no group has asserted responsibility, and it remained possible that the assailants were homegrown radicals without any direct ties to groups such as al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.
    At least one of the men identified by the French authorities as one of the suspected assailants, Cherif Kouachi, a 32-year-old French citizen, was given a three-year sentence in 2008 for associating with a terrorist group because he was planning to go to Iraq to fight U.S. forces. Kouachi was arrested in 2005, and his attorneys said at the time that he had had second thoughts and was relieved he was stopped before leaving France, according to a report in the New York Times.
    His brother, Said Kouachi, 34, was also identified as a suspect in Wednesday’s attack, along with an 18-year-old, Hamyd Mourad.
    Officials said the attack, involving military-style rifles and vests designed to carry ammunition, offered the appearance of some planning.
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    Gunmen storm Paris satirical newspaper, killing at least 12
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    Assailants burst into an editorial meeting at a satirical newspaper in Paris on Wednesday and opened fire.
    Assailants burst into an editorial meeting at a satirical newspaper in Paris on Wednesday and opened fire.
    Jan. 7, 2015  Suspects Cherif Kouachi, left, 32, and his brother Said Kouachi, aged 34, wanted in connection with an attack at a satirical weekly in Paris. French Police/AFP/Getty Images
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    “The way these men moved and executed these terrorist attacks shows that they have not been amateurs,” an Arab intelligence official said. “It was like a commando operation.”
    A U.S. official briefed on the intelligence surrounding the attack offered a similar assessment. “So often, the homegrown extremists have been kind of bumbling idiots,” the official said, referring to planned attacks on Times Square and other locations. Those returning from Syria “know what they’re doing. They have been through it before and can operate under pressure and operate very lethally.”
    Others were not convinced that the Paris attackers had professional training. While the attack, as seen on video clips, seemed well orchestrated, the shooters at one point cross each other’s paths as they advance up the street — a type of movement that professional military personnel are trained to avoid as it would limit the ability of the shooters to maximize firepower.
    “From what I’ve seen, their shooting stance and movement indicates they are not well trained,” Dan Rassachak, a Marine with expertise in close-combat skills, said in an e-mail.
    U.S. and Western security officials cautioned that they had not reached any conclusions about the affiliation of the three attackers, who killed 12 people in the assault, or determined whether they had any military training or had been to Syria to fight there.
    Instead, they cited a range of possible links or inspirations, including al-Qaeda or its regional affiliates and a pair of al-Qaeda offshoots, the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, that have also turned the Syrian battleground into a competition for Islamist primacy.
    Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said that a briefing delivered to members of the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday outlined an array of scenarios, including that the attack was “inspired by ISIS or was a command and control decision” executed by the group. ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State.
    “I think, given the nature of the attack, we have to be very concerned that this is another devastating indication of the problem we’re going to have from foreign fighters,” Schiff said, referring to the more than 15,000 foreign militants who have flocked to the conflict in Syria over the past four years, including at least 3,000 from Europe.
    “We don’t know yet if that is the case,” Schiff said. “But if it is, it will be some of our worst fears materialized.”
    France has seen as many as 1,000 of its own citizens depart to fight in Syria, with most of those doing so over the past year as part of an accelerating flow, French officials have said. France is also regarded as the most aggressive nation in Europe in monitoring suspected terrorist groups and seeking to disrupt the flow of fighters to Syria by taking measures including seizing passports.
    A French citizen, Mehdi Nemmouche, last year carried out the first attack by a militant returning from Syria when he crossed into Belgium and killed four people at a Jewish museum. In March 2012, a gunman claiming links to al-Qaeda killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in Toulouse in southern France.
    The had not seen as deadly a terrorist attack on its soil in nearly two decades before the masked gunmen burst into the offices of the French newspaper Charlie Hedbo on Wednesday and then escaped by car into the Paris suburbs.
    After Wednesday’s attack, militants affiliated with the Islamic State recirculated a video that was recorded and released last year calling for “lone wolf” attacks in France.
    Though there was some speculation that Wednesday’s attack involved al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, some experts noted the absence of the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda plot.
    “It’s a pretty unusual attack from a jihadist organization. It’s not a suicide attack, and it’s not a bombing,” said Daniel Benjamin, the former top counterterrorism official at the State Department. “We haven’t seen many cases of cells affiliated with [al-Qaeda-linked] groups carrying out shootings like this.”
    A link to the Islamic State, even if the assailants were only inspired by the group and not ever formally part of its ranks, would be particularly alarming to officials in Europe, Benjamin said.
    “The appeal of ISIS is sufficient that it is drawing out people who were not known as extremists before,” said Benjamin, now at Dartmouth College. “Its efforts to create something like a state appears to have real appeal at the street level and has changed the terms of the game in radicalization.”
    U.S. and European officials said the attack in Paris was likely to intensify pressure on security officials there to expand surveillance of Islamist groups, crack down on militants suspected of planning to leave for Syria and tighten up airport screening measures that spare European citizens the high level of scrutiny that is applied to travelers entering the United States.
    Although the attack was deadlier than other recent cases, Schiff said it should be seen as a part of an emerging pattern that includes violent attacks in Canada, Australia, London and Belgium.
    “There’s a broad pattern of a proliferation of these one-off attacks around the world,” Schiff said. “It’s becoming an endless parade of brutality.”
    Souad Mekhennet in Frankfurt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff in Washington contributed to this report.
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    French police identify suspects in attack on Paris newspaper; manhunt underway

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    PARIS — France’s deadliest terrorist attack in modern memory unfolded with chilling precision here Wednesday as gunmen speaking fluent French burst into a satirical newspaper’s weekly staff meeting and raked the room with bullets, leaving behind what one witness described as “absolute carnage.”
    The massacre claimed a dozen lives, including the provocative paper’s well-known editor and two police officers, while traumatizing a nation that had long feared such an assault but was nonetheless shocked by the ferocity and military-style professionalism with which it was carried out.
    After shooting dead their final victim, the exultant killers calmly fled the scene, sparking a manhunt that extended across this capital city and deep into its suburbs.
    France raised its security alarm to the highest level and mobilized teams on foot, by air and in vehicles seeking the three masked assailants, who carried out the assault shouting the Arabic call of “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” amid the gunfire, according to video posted by France’s state-run broadcaster.
    By early Thursday, police had surrounded an apartment building in the city of Reims, about a two-hour drive from Paris, with French media reporting that a swarm of heavily armed officers was preparing to raid the site. But they pulled back around 2 a.m., apparently without making any arrests.
    Editor's note: This video contains graphic content. Videos shot near the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo captured two gunmen fleeing the area. One shows the gunmen shooting a police officer. (The Washington Post)
    According to police and other officials, two of the suspects are French brothers in their early 30s, Said and Cherif Kouachi. Both are from the Paris region. The third is 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad from Reims. There were conflicting reports on whether the teenager was also a French national.
    Early Thursday, the French outlet Le Figaro reported the youngest suspect had surrendered to police in Charleville-Mezieres, which is near the border with Belgium.
    Wednesday’s mass killing added Paris to a list of European capitals, including London and Madrid, that have experienced major terrorist attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
    The assault came at a time of heightened anxiety across Europe about the threat of radical Islamist groups as thousands of young men and women from across the continent have poured into Syria to join the fight there. Many have come home radicalized by the experience.
    There was no indication Wednesday that any of the three assailants had battlefield experience. But experts said the men were well prepared for their mission, and there were widespread reports that one of the alleged suspects, Cherif Kouachi, had been convicted of recruiting fighters to battle American forces in Iraq.
    Wednesday’s raid was “a terrorist attack without a doubt,” said French President François Hollande, who later declared Thursday as a national day of mourning.
    “Journalists and police officers have been assassinated in cowardly fashion,” Hollande said after visiting the scene. “France is in a state of shock.”
    The attack coincided with a staff meeting at the weekly Charlie Hebdo newspaper and left its well-known editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, and other prominent cartoonists among the dead.
    Edouard Perrin, a former writer for the newspaper who was in the office across the hall at the time of the attack, said he took cover when the shooting started and was among the first to enter after the killers fled.
    “When we got inside, it was an absolute carnage, in the proper sense of the word,” he said.
    In addition to the dead, he said, “there were survivors. We carried out CPR on them. I touched one person lying on the ground. The body had no pulse.”
    Later, at the sealed offices and on nearby streets, forensic experts looked for DNA or other possible clues to aid in the rapidly expanding hunt. Others pored over security-camera video and cellphone images posted online.
    Across Paris, meanwhile, security patrols were stepped up at media outlets, transportation hubs and other key sites.
    The attack is likely to raise calls for tougher crackdowns on suspected extremists in a country that has faced decades of internal tensions over its Muslim population, which at 5 million is the largest in Europe.
    In recent years, France has thrust itself to center stage in the war against Islamist extremism. In 2013, French forces joined those loyal to Mali’s government to push back an onslaught by Islamist militants. France was also the first nation to join the U.S.-led effort against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, conducting bombing raids.
    In just the past several weeks, France has been particularly on edge. Before Christmas, a man yelling “God is great” in Arabic was shot after stabbing three police officers in a suburb of Tours in central France.
    Also, 23 people were injured in Nantes and Dijon after men, in two separate incidents, drove vehicles into crowds. French officials deployed between 200 and 300 more military personnel on the streets last week, in addition to 780 already on the ground.
    But the mood in Paris on Wednesday was less angry and fearful than mournful and resolved.
    As dusk fell, a somber crowd of thousands of Parisians converged on the Place de la Republique to show solidarity with the attack’s victims. Many bore handmade signs with the words “Je suis Charlie” — “I am Charlie” — and mourners spelled out the words in votive candles. The crowd periodically broke out in rhythmic chants of “Charlie!” — but was otherwise largely silent.
    “Charlie is exactly what France needs. They make us laugh and they make us think,” said Dominique Ragu, a cartographer who came to the rally with her daughter and father. “This was an attack on freedom of expression. It was an attack on humor.”
    At the nearby offices of the leftist newspaper Liberation, the entrance was being guarded by police wielding assault rifles. Inside, staff members were mourning for lost friends but were also defiant.
    “We need to be like Charlie. We need to be strong. We need to be irreverent. We need to be impactful,” said Johan Hufnagel, the paper’s deputy editor. “If we change because of these guys, it will mean they will have won.”
    The attack targeted the newspaper’s most prominent figures.
    One of its designers, Corinne Rey, said two hooded gunmen, speaking perfect French, forced her to type her passcode at the door. It was shortly before 11:30 a.m. Paris time — the time of the newspaper’s editorial meeting attended by key members of the staff.
    “I had gone to pick up my daughter at day care,” Rey told the French newspaper L’Humanite. “Two hooded gunmen arrived at the door of the building and brutally threatened us.”
    Amateur footage broadcast on France 24 showed panicked employees of Charlie Hebdo scrambling onto the roof at the offices in the densely populated 11th arrondissement of Paris. Another video clip showed black-clad gunmen firing on a police officer on the sidewalk before escaping in a black car.
    The assailants, according to French media accounts, later commandeered a vehicle at Porte de Pantin on the northeastern outskirts of Paris before fleeing to the suburbs.
    “We heard a ‘boom boom,’ ” said a waiter at the nearby restaurant Le Poulailler who asked to remain anonymous. He described seeing at least two gunmen firing weapons. “We went outside in the alley and saw them shooting at the cops,” he said. “At first we thought it was a movie.”
    Christophe Crepin, a police union spokesman, said the dead include 10 members of the newspaper staff, among them the 47-year-old Charbonnier, who was widely known by the pen name Charb.
    Other noted staff members killed included economic-affairs columnist Bernard Maris, 68, and renowned cartoonist Jean Cabut, 76, widely known as Cabu.
    Two police officers also were killed, including one assigned as the editor’s bodyguard. The other, who encountered the gunmen as they fled, was shot in the head as he writhed wounded on the ground, Crepin said.
    At least 20 other people were injured, including four listed in critical condition, police said.
    “We killed Charlie Hebdo,” one of the assailants shouted, according to a video made from a nearby building and later broadcast on French television.
    “The murderers dared proclaim Charlie Hebdo is dead,” U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said n Washington. “But make no mistake, they are wrong. Today and tomorrow in Paris, in France and across the world, the freedom of expression this magazine represented is not able to be killed by this kind of act of terror.”
    In Washington, President Obama denounced the “horrific” shooting and said U.S. officials were ready to provide any assistance to help “bring these terrorists to justice.”
    British Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack “sickening,” and German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced it as “vile.”
    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack, but messages of praise appeared on Web sites and other online forums linked to Islamist militants, said the Washington-based Site monitoring group, which tracks extremist posts.
    Charlie Hebdo’s iconoclastic style frequently pushed the envelope. The newspaper was already under regular police guard after being targeted in the past. In November 2011, its offices were firebombed a day after it published a caricature of the prophet Muhammad and ironically named him as its “editor in chief” for an upcoming issue.
    The attack, however, did little to curb its appetite for Islamic satire. In 2012, the newspaper ignored calls for caution from high-ranking members of the French government and published more images of Muhammad. In one caricature, he was shown being pushed in a wheelchair by an Orthodox Jew in a reference to a hit French movie.
    Images of Muhammad have sparked deadly violence and protests in the past. In 2005, a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting the prophet, touching off months of unrest across the Islamic world.
    “It’s a horrible thing that has happened today, and my fear is that this might promote self-censorship,” said Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who penned the most incendiary of the 2005 caricatures of the prophet Mohammad. “These were good people, people who have been critical of anyone in power.”
    Only hours before the attack, Charlie Hebdo’s Twitter account carried a cartoon titled “Still No Attacks in France” showing Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi giving a new year’s greeting.
    “Just wait,” a fighter says in the drawing. “We have until the end of January to present our New Year’s wishes.”
    Faiola reported from Berlin. Virgile Demoustier in Paris, Karla Adam in London, Souad Mekhennet in Frankfurt, Germany, and Brian Murphy, William Branigin, Katie Zezima and Carol Morello in Washington contributed to this report.

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