2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks fast facts


Here’s a look at the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. A total of 17 people were killed in attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a kosher grocery store and the Paris suburb of Montrouge between 7 and 9 January. Three suspects in the attacks were killed by police in separate altercations. On December 16, 2020, a French court found 14 accomplices of French Islamist militants behind the attacks guilty.

Charlie Hebdo magazine began publication in 1970 with the aim of satirizing religion, politics and other subjects. Most of the staff came from the publication Hara-Kiri, which was banned after mocking the death of former President Charles de Gaulle.

The Charlie in the title refers to Charlie Brown from the Peanuts cartoon. Hebdo is short for hebdomadaire, which means weekly in French.

The magazine was discontinued in the 1980s due to lack of funds. Publication resumed in 1992.

In 2006, Charlie Hebdo reprinted controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that originally appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. French President Jacques Chirac criticized the decision, calling it an “open provocation”.

In 2011, the magazine’s offices were destroyed by a petrol bomb after it published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

Cherif Kouachi:
– Born in France, of Algerian descent.
– During his confrontation with police, Cherif Kouachi told CNN affiliate BFMTV that he was training in Yemen with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
– He also told BFMTV that during this time he met with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Muslim who was the face of AQAP until he was killed in a US drone strike in 2011.

Kouachi said:
– Born in France, of Algerian descent.
– As of 2009, Kouachi traveled frequently to Yemen, spending months at a time there.
– US officials said Kouachi received weapons training in 2011 and worked with AQAP.

Amedy Coulibaly:
– Born in France, of Senegalese descent.
– Arrested in 2010 for trying to free an Algerian man over a subway bombing in 1995 and spent time in prison. Cherif Kouachi was investigated for the same conspiracy, but there was insufficient evidence to charge him.
– Before being killed by police, Coulibaly reportedly telephoned CNN affiliate BFMTV that he was affiliated with ISIS.

Hayat Boumeddie:
– Born in France, of Algerian descent.
– Girlfriend of Coulibaly.
– She was initially believed to have been involved in the shooting of a police officer in Montrouge and the subsequent attack on a kosher grocery store.
– However, a source for the Turkish Prime Minister has told CNN that Boumeddiene entered Turkey on January 2 and arrived at Istanbul Airport with a man on a flight from Madrid. She had a return ticket to Madrid for January 9, but she did not catch her return flight from Istanbul that day.
– A French source close to the country’s security services also said that Boumeddiene is believed to be no longer in France and is said to have left for Turkey “to reach Syria, of course.”
– Paris prosecutor Francois Molins has indicated that Boumedienne and Cherif Kouachi’s wife was also well known and said they exchanged 500 phone calls in 2014.

– In 2020, Boumeddiene will be tried in absentia and found guilty of financing terrorism and belonging to a criminal terrorist network.

January 7, 2015 –
At around 11:30 a.m., armed men broke into the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The attackers are said to be saying they are avenging the Prophet Mohammed and shouting “Allahu akbar,” which translates to “God is great,” according to Molins.

– Twelve people are killed: Eight employees, one magazine guest, one maintenance worker and one policeman are killed.

– After escaping the building, the gunmen meet another policeman on the street and shoot him point-blank.

– Later in the day, the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) starts trending on social media. Thousands of Parisians took to the streets to hold a vigil for the victims.

January 8, 2015 –
– The police name the main suspects, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi. Police are looking for them in an area north-east of Paris near Villers-Cotterêts.

– One killed: A gunman dressed in a style similar to that used in the Charlie Hebdo attack, all in black and wearing a bulletproof vest, shoots and kills a policewoman in the Paris suburb of Montrouge.

– According to a gas station attendant, the Kouachi brothers are stealing groceries and petrol from a gas station near Villers-Cotterets.

– A US law enforcement official told CNN that both Kouachi brothers were on a US database of known or suspected international terrorists, known as TIDE, and had been on the no-fly list for years.

– In the evening, the Eiffel Tower goes dark for a short time to commemorate the victims.

January 9, 2015 –
– Four people are killed: In the morning, police and French special forces surround a building in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, where the Kouachi brothers are hiding with a hostage.

– In the afternoon, a gunman enters a kosher grocery store in the Paris suburb of Porte de Vincennes and takes people hostage. The shooter is identified as Coulibaly. Police also link him to the Montrouge attack. Also identified is his alleged accomplice Boumeddiene. Officials say Coulibaly killed four hostages at the grocery store.

– Around 5 p.m., the police launch an attack on the building in Dammartin-en-Goele where the Kouachi brothers are hiding. The brothers are killed.

– Shortly thereafter, police launched an operation against Coulibaly at the kosher grocery store. Four hostages are killed and fifteen rescued. Coulibaly is also killed.

January 11, 2015 –
– Around 3.7 million people demonstrate in anti-terrorist rallies across France. In Paris, 40 leaders including French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and British Prime Minister David Cameron marched with a crowd of 1.5 million people .

January 13, 2015 –
– Funerals are being held in Israel for the four hostages killed at the kosher market. Netanyahu takes part.

– Hollande posthumously awards the Order of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration, to the three police officers killed in the attacks during a memorial ceremony at the Prefecture de Police in Paris.

– Bulgaria arrests Frenchman Fritz-Joly Joachin on a European arrest warrant, citing alleged links to terrorists and a possible link to the Kouachi brothers.

January 14, 2015 –
– Charlie Hebdo is releasing a new issue of its magazine with a caricature of the Muslim prophet Mohammed on the cover and a sign that reads “Je suis Charlie”.

– AQAP takes responsibility for the operation carried out on Charlie Hebdo.

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