Wednesday January 7th was a day that will go down in history not only as a tragic day for journalists everywhere, but for the entire world and the right to free speech. A small faction of the widely recognized terrorist group Al-Qaeda attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical left-wing magazine widely known for its political cartoons, which usually poke fun at religion , along with many other controversial topics. The attack was planned in an effort to stop these images from being published.
The shooting was carried out by jihadist brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi. The two entered the building and opened fire, leaving 11 wounded and 12 dead. The pair then exited the building, fleeing the scene. Police forces chased down the perpetrators who, after crashing their car hijacked another car and fled to the French countryside. The men were spotted robbing a gas station outside of Paris and were pursued by police through the North-East of France. The men then ditched their car and holed themselves inside a printing press, where on January 9th the men exited the building and were shot and killed by police. The suspected leader of the attack is Abelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian-Moroccan ISIS fighter who is supposedly a key link between Syrian ISIS operators and the Belgian terrorist cell.
In the aftermath of the attack, the world has come together to show their support for the news magazine. “Je Suis Charlie” is the slogan for these supporters, translated it means, “I am Charlie”. It is a constant reminder to terrorist groups everywhere; the right to free speech will never be condemned, and the pen truly is mightier than the sword.