(JNS.org) At least 12 people, including a Jewish cartoonist, were killed after Muslim terrorists stormed the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday morning.
According to the French daily Le Monde, two masked men dressed in black and armed with Kalashnikov automatic rifles broke into the Charlie Hebdo offices and began shooting at police and journalists as they gathered for their weekly editorial meeting.
Videos show the Muslim terrorists shouting “Allah Akbar” at the time of the shooting. Witnesses told police that the terrorists also shouted, “We have avenged the prophet.” The terrorists then fled in a black car and have yet to be caught, Paris police said.
Among those killed were four of the Charlie Hebdo’s best-known cartoonists: editor in chief Stephane Charbonnier, Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski, and Bernard Verlhac. Wolinski was Jewish. Reports indicate that two police officers were also killed.
Charlie Hebdo, which regularly lampoons various faiths, has long been a target of Muslims for its cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed. In November 2011, its offices were firebombed after publishing a spoof issue inviting Mohammed to be its guest editor and putting his caricature on the cover.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman conveyed Israel’s condolences to France, saying the free world cannot allow itself to be intimidated by terrorists and that Israel “identified” with France’s pain. Jewish organizations, meanwhile, condemned the terrorist attack and offered solidarity with the French people.
“Islamic terrorism has struck once again in the heart of our beloved France,” said Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Paris office. “Their target was both those who worked at the magazine and the laudable values of an open, democratic society they embodied. There can be no compromise with such murderers and their heinous world view.”
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “Three years after the massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse, and eight months after the deadly attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, were are faced with yet another brutal Islamist terror attack in Western Europe. This time, the target was the media, but it affects all of us. We must not be intimidated by their campaign and must uphold and defend our Western values, including that of freedom of expression.”