Car Explodes Outside Paris Synagogue Hours After Magazine Attack
January 7, 2015 11:42 am
Author: Ben Cohen
Sarcelles synagogue car explosion
A burning car outside a Paris synagogue hours after the Charlie Hebdo attack. Photo: Twitter
A car exploded outside a synagogue near Paris just hours after Islamist terrorists murdered twelve people in a gun assault on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Initial reports were unclear as to whether the cause of the explosion was a bomb, with some correspondents suggesting that the blast was the result of a mechanical failure.
The explosion, in the mixed Muslim-Jewish suburb of Sarcelles – the site of violent anti-Semitic demonstrations last summer, during the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas – took place at approximately 2.30 local time.
Sarcelles Mayor Francois Pupponi said that the car explosion was an “accidental, unrelated incident” not connected to the Charlie Hebdo shooting.
French Jewish news outlet JSS reported that an initial police assessment concluded that the explosion was an accident. However, JSS also pointed out that the car was parked by a roundabout where “it is strictly forbidden to stop.” The paper also questioned whether a mechanical fault could have caused such an intense explosion.
This story will be updated as further reports come in.
Identities of Islamist Terrorists in Paris Attack Revealed
January 7, 2015 5:39 pm
Author: Ben Cohen
Cherif Kouachi was sentenced to 3 years in prison in 2008 on terrorism charges. Image: JSSNews
The French Interior Ministry has confirmed the identities of the three terrorist suspects wanted in connection with today’s attack on the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.
The men were named as Saïd Kouachi, his brother Chérif Kouachi and Hamyd Mourad. The French government has not yet confirmed media reports that the three have been arrested. As reported earlier by The Algemeiner, the terrorists escaped the scene in a car which they abandoned outside a nearby kosher restaurant.
The Kouachi brothers are in their early 30s, hold French nationality, and reside in Paris. Mourad is reportedly homeless and 18 years old. Some media reports claimed that Mourad comes from the town of Reims, and speculated that the three terrorists may have been heading there.
French Jewish website JSSNews published an image of a police warrant for the three terrorists that was shared by Pierre Martinet, a former French intelligence agent.
Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.06.21 PM
French newspaper Le Point reported that Cherif Kouachi brothers was arrested in 2005 as he prepared to travel to the Syrian capital Damascus, and from there to Iraq, JSSNews said. Kouachi, who was part of a jihadi network in France that dispatched fighters from France to serve with Al Qaeda in Iraq, was sentenced to three years in prison, with eighteen months suspended, in 2008.