Cop Killed in New Attack, Paris Manhunt Continues
French police are feverishly hunting for two suspects from Wednesday's shooting at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper that had repeatedly made fun of Islam and Mohammed.
The Islamic gunmen slaughtered 12 people in that attack. The suspects are brothers who have been on France's radar for a while after being tied to jihadist fighting in Iraq.
Meanwhile, a new shooting Thursday has left one female French police officer dead and a nearby street sweeper wounded in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge. The suspect in the pre-dawn attack remains at large
Police said it was too early to draw a connection between this latest shooting and the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
On Wednesday, the killers burst into an editorial meeting at the paper, shooting eight staffers in the head execution style and four others, including two police officers. The killers reportedly shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest") and "the prophet in avenged."
***CBN News Erick Stakelbeck has been warning about small groups of terrorists attacking soft targets. Will the world see more attacks like the one in Paris? He answers that question and more on The 700 Club, Jan. 8.
Paris has been alternately coddling and cracking down on radical Islam for years now, and there was always the fear that something like this could happen.
A stunned France was in mourning Thursday as police and security forces hunted for the two suspects still at large. The third suspect, an 18-year-old, turned himself in to police.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said there were "several arrests" overnight in the hunt for the brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi. Both were born in France.
The massacre at Charlie Hebdo triggered demonstrations of solidarity around the world. Tens of thousands gathered in Paris carrying signs that said "I am Charlie."
"We do that for the freedom of speech, we are mobilized, we raise our pens, we won't get down," protester Raphael Homassel, a French student living in Paris, said.
Meanwhile, Dalil Boubakeur, head of the French Muslim Council and imam of the Paris mosque, was in damage control mode, denying the killings were done in the name of Islam.
"It doesn't seem as if this was done in the name of Islam," Boubakeur said. "On the contrary, it was a blow struck against all Muslims, and the shock felt by Muslims today will be the subject of a meeting tomorrow of all Muslim representatives in order to reach a common stance."
The massacre will only strengthen far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who said France must stop living in denial and stand up to Islamic fundamentalism.
"The objective of these barbaric acts is to terrorize, to paralyze through fear, to subjugate or to censor," he said. "Undoubtedly after this act, this attack that traumatized the entire nation, fear is there."
"It is my responsibility to say that this fear must be overcome, and to say that this attack must liberate our speech in the face of Islamic fundamentalism," he continued.
"We must not stay quiet," he admonished. "And we must speak up about what happened. We must not be frightened of words: this is a terrorist act committed in the name of radical Islamism. Denial and hypocrisy are not an option."
Germany, too, is seeing a backlash against Muslim immigration. The organization Pegida is seeing tens of thousands of Germans turn out for demonstrations against Muslim radicalism and immigration.