One suspect surrenders in French terror hunt | News | DW | 08.01.2015
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One suspect surrenders in French terror hunt

Three suspects have been named, and one has turned himself in to police over the attack on humor magazine Charlie Hebdo. A police operation is underway in the northeastern city of Reims to apprehend the gunmen.

One suspect has turned himself in to police in connection with Wednesday's massacre at the offices of Parisian satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Police continued their search for two further suspects early Thursday in the city of Reims, 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Paris.

French police named the alleged gunmen as Cherif and Said Kouachi, brothers in their 30s, and a third suspect 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, all French citizens. It is Mourad who gave himself over to officers in Charleville-Mézières, 70 kilometers (43 miles) northeast of Reims. News agency AFP reported that the teenager handed himself in after seeing his name circulating on social media.

AFP also wrote that several people linked to the two main suspects were also in custody.

The French police's special RAID anti-terrorism unit has been leading an operation to arrest the suspects, which has honed in on Reims in the Champagne region of northeast France. Police told journalists and bystanders to stay clear as they mounted a raid on a building, warning that the Kouachi brothers were "armed and dangerous."

One police official who named the suspects also told reporters that the men were linked to a Yemeni terrorist organization, which corroborates an earlier witness statement that said the men shouted, "You can tell the media that it's al Qaeda in Yemen," to onlookers.

Cherif Kouachi has been convicted of promoting terrorism before. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of helping facilitate fighters for the Iraqi insurgency. He told the court he was motivated by outrage at images of Americans torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

Global show of solidarity for France's worst massacre in decades

Kouachi, his brother, and Mourad stormed the office of the humor magazine around midday, in a military-style raid that left 12 dead, including the editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier, and famous cartoonist Jean Cabut, along with Georges Wolinski and Bernhard Verlhac, known by the pseudonym Tignous. Two policemen were also killed in the attack.

The magazine had recently published an issue mocking "Islamic State" (IS) and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Charlie Hebdo was no stranger to threats and attacks from Islamists – after a 2011 issue "guest edited" by the Prophet Muhammad, their offices in Paris' 11th arrondissement were firebombed.

On top of an outpouring of sympathy and support from world leaders, other journalists and cartoonists are showing their solidarity.

Supporters around the world have united under the motto "Je suis Charlie" or "I am Charlie."

Danish newspaper Berlingske's Thursday edition will feature cartoons from the magazine, among them one illustration featuring the Prophet Muhammad. The managing editor of Italy's Corriere della Sera confirmed that his daily will also republish Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

es/bw (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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