tv Consider This Al Jazeera January 7, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm EST
ng america's solidarity with the french people really echoing the sentiment we had from president barack obama a bit earlier. let's talk to remi pierre a little bit more right now. what are we hearing from john kerry right now. >> first of all we hear him speaking in french saying that no country more than france knows the price of freedom. he is mentioning how freedom is the central value that united people. and the difference between the world's civilization and the world's barbaric act like we witnessed today. >> we'll chat a little bit more in a second, but let's lynn
-- continue listening right now. >> translator: we'll [ inaudible ] against this kind of darkness. as well as any people not just in europe but on the planet so i'm pleased to be standing here with the foreign minister today. poland is a strong stalwart advocate for and supporter of freedom and democracy, and they have stood on the front lines for a long time in that effort. they understand the price of freedom and they understand the cost. >> u.s. secretary of state john kerry speaking there about the attack that took place in france. you already heard world leaders condemning the attack. and u.s. president barack obama saying his thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the
attack, and john kerry saying the same. rosiland jordan was always listening in. and joining us live. i guess the general message is that freedom of speech must be protected and preserved. >> reporter: it must be preserved and in fact one other comment that secretary of state john kerry made was that -- he said that he agreed with the french immom who earlier condemned these attacks and called the 12 people quote martyrs for liberty. the secretary went on to stress the importance of the freedom of speech the freedom of expression and he said that extremists those opposed to civilization simply fear the expressions that people who worked for the magazine and for many around the world routinely express whether or not others
might find their comments offensive. he said it was important to hold up fundamental value not just here in the united states but also in france which he said basically invented democracy. >> beyond what we have heard from the secretary of state today and the u.s. president, how would you describe the mood the atmosphere there in the wake of this attack in france? >> reporter: well certainly there is concern about what has happened in france but there is also a question about whether anything similar could happen in this country. there hasn't been much of a discussion of whether or not there would be these sorts of attacks against journalists or any other group of people. there have been of course widely reported questions about the state of race relations in the united states but we haven't seen this same kind of concern
that might be -- over extremism that might be born. they have already offered assistance to french authorities as they try to investigate the shooting. >> when something like this of this magnitude happens in a european capitol, roz it is only natural about the possibility of something similar happening in the u.s. there must be some sort of coordination of security around the world, but can we expect more of that in the coming weeks? >> reporter: well, it really is going to come down to whether or not u.s. law enforce and u.s. intelligence feel that there is credible evidence that would suggest that something similar could happen in this country. of course everyone is very worried about copycat attacks, but one thing that has been
notable under the leadership of jeh johnson, who is the recently confirmed secretary of homeland security is a much more cautious and analytical approach to responding to these sorts of attacks. he is on the road today and expected to make public comments but we don't know if he is going to talk particularly about this event. that being said his agency is going to be taking a look at whether there should be a level of heightened security. moving around this capitol on this wednesday, i haven't seen anything out of the ordinary. there have been incidents in the past where i might have seen more local and national police officers on duty very visible. i haven't seen that so far today. and even though this event happened just as many people here in the u.s. were starting their work day. >> thanks roz.
at least nine journalists and two police officers are dead. that's what we know right now. let's give you an idea of where the attack took place. it was [ inaudible ]. masked men entered the building at 11:30 local time and opened fire. as they left the building they were confronted by police officer. at least one officer was killed at this point, and the men fled in a dark gray car. the vehicle was later found abandoned in the 19th district in the city's northeast. the gunmen are still at large. i am joined on the line by a terrorist analyst. it is difficult to predict an attack like this. but are you surprised at all that this attack was able to take place?
you had multiple armed men carry out this act of violence then managed to escape and were on the run? >> we were not surprised because we were expecting such an attack to happen in france. it tapped against a journal that is a symbol of freedom of speech? france. the journal was protected by police and unfortunately the two police officers were killed in the attack. these gunmen were well prepared very professional in the way they attacked. probably trained. but obviously this attack was targeting a symbol the freedom of speech symbol. >> we still don't know the identity of these gunmen or any possible military of financial support they may have been
receiving from other groups whether inside the country or aboard there is still a great deal that we don't know but from what we do know about this attack, and the way it was carried out, how would you describe the possible motivation here? >> it's very difficult to have answers on that point. what we were hearing in france was an attack coming from -- returning from -- conflict in syria and iraq. people being trained to use weapons and explosives. we were also hearing people from inside france with ties to the islamic state or other organizations, because we have seen that in the past we also have foiled terrorist attacks since a year now of the same time meaning involving individuals that are radicallized using weapons and trying to go forward with terrorist attacks.
so again, we were expect such an attack unfortunately it comes against a journal which was the symbol of the liberty of freedom of speech. >> you are saying there was an expectation such an attack could take place. why then was security services intelligence services not better prepared? >> french intelligence and french security services are tracking down thousands of individuals at the same time in the territory and abroad also. it's very difficult to secure everything and even if you can take 100% protection against -- for our citizens it's difficult to reach the 0% risk. it will never be obtained. so again, we have been experiencing in the past terrorism on our soil. today we're more dealing with
individuals or small groups acting very quickly. it is very difficult to track. >> we know that the two gunmen managed to escape. they are still at large. there is massive manhunt underway, can you tell what will be going on police and security forces, what they will be doing to locate them track them down and take them into custody. >> well all around france there has been -- the -- the individuals and their cars -- their car has been [ inaudible ] to track down these individuals. we are still tracking down several profiles of people who were being sought by the police and intelligence services to know exactly where they are, and if they might have been involved or have knowledge of what happened today. all services are mobilizing to
track down these individuals. we have electronic systems in place, and satellite systems to try to track them down. >> in terms of where the men might be right now, if you have security forces all over the capitol, but is it possible that they might -- given the security measures that have already been taken the city is sort of functioning as normal but there will be lockdown in certain areas, and a heavy armed presence there, to what extent will that restrict the movement of the attackers themselves? how difficult will it be for them to breach the boundaries of the french capitol? >> this morning the authorities established the highest level of security over potential terrorist attack. today all of the religious
sites, all of the press, also buildings and commercial centers, touristic buildings and sites are protected and protection is being reinforced. there's not too much we can do because, again, we don't want to be -- to be -- you know in a situation where we fear what is happening. life must go on again. this is very important because the game of the terrorist is precisely to demorallize society, and this is something we should -- we should be very tough at resisting. >> it's a difficult question to answer but i'm just trying to draw on your experience and expertise in this area from what we know of these attackers, the which in which they -- we know that they were well organized. we know they were well prepared.
we know they were in possession of automatic weapons. it is likely they would try to target another location or another building or would they just go into hiding at this point? and how difficult is it going to be to track them down? >> it is indeed possibility that they could try to carry out other attacks. we have seen that in [ inaudible ] when [ inaudible ] targeted a jewish institution in brussels and then tried to reach france with weapons when he was arrested in the south of france. so it is of course a possibility that the individual would try to escape but also try to -- try to -- to commit other terrorist attacks, and this is what -- the fear we have today, and this is why all of the french intelligence police is mobile
mobileized. >> thank you so much. let's take you through what we know so far and the reaction that we have had. in the worlds of the editor of the organization he said a newspaper is not a weapon of war. the words of the editor in chief. he escaped today's attack because he was in london but at least nine journalists and two police officers are dead. and as we were saying massive manhunt is underway. jonah hull has the latest for us now. >> reporter: amateur footage shows two black hooded men taking their escape. a police is injured and then shot and point-blank range. in french the men are heard to shout we have arvenue -- avenue
venn jed the profit mohammed. amid the chaos that followed the attack at about midday paris time the president arrived on the scene. >> translator: it's an about of exceptional bar barety that has been committed here against a newspaper that standing for freedom of expression against journalists determined to express their ideas. >> reporter: the president announced that france was on its high estate of alert. >> translator: the perpetrators will be hunted for as long as is necessary. >> reporter: as bullets were fired bystanders cowered behind
parked cars. the police have not yet confirmed how many people died in the attack. >> translator: a van arrived with three masked men at the headquarters and used automatic weapons and killed anything they saw inside. >> reporter: an eyewitness described the scene. >> translator: i just got a glimpse, i saw people on the roof who were filming, then i saw a new car. it didn't look like a terrorist car. then the car stopped just across from where we were. and two guys with black masks got out and started shooting. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: more amateur footage filmed from a nearby building. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: in the aftermath,
emergency crews rushed the injured from the scene, a number of them said to be critical. the french cabinet met in emergency session. there is now a massive manhunt underway. the black car was later discovered abandoned. three attackers were involved and it does appear likely that the publication was targeted as it has been before because of its satirical portrayal of political and religious leaders. let's get the latest from jackie roland now. jackie if we look at what would have been happening in the office this morning, it would have been particularly busy. journalists would have been gathering together to have their editorial meeting. so you would have had many high-profile cartoonists present. i guess you can conclude this
was a very well-timed attack. >> reporter: it would appear the attack was well-timed and well planned and also executed in an audacious way, which would indicate there were clearly more people involved than the attackers. there were three of them and they were carrying automatic weapons, clearly someone drove them there, and there was the getaway car as well. you also have to think about the chain of procurement for those automatic weapons. not readily available here in france. the police are looking for a broader network of support, and the big concern in the minds of many year in france and paris particularly this evening is are the three men preparing to carry out another attack. and are there other groups who
belong to some kind of a network who could be planning similar actions elsewhere in france. >> we know the terror alert has been raised to its highest level. what can you tell us about efforts to locate the gunmen? jackie i'm not sure if you can hear me. i'll put that to you again. we were mentioning the terror ol alert has been -- we'll get back to jackie in a moment. but the entire french capitol very much in lockdown. these attackers managed to escape, and they are still at large, so there is a high security presence on the street and freedom of movement has been restricted to some extent. james bayes joins us live there
the united nations in new york. has there been reaction from the u.n.? >> reporter: we have been getting reaction here at the united nations on what is an attack on the freedom of speech many are saying. ban ki-moon happened to be touring the offices of the journalists that work here in the united nations. the original plan was to wish us all a happy new year. he came around to do that and the coverage was playing out in all of our offices, the live coverage of -- of the events in paris. and after he greeted us all and spoken to all of us he then made this statement. >> -- understand today very terrible terrorist attack has happened. so i would like to say a few
words first. i want to express my outrage at the despicable attack today against the french magazine. it was a horrendous unjustified and cold-blooded crime. it was always direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy, on the media and freedom of expression. i extend my deepest condolences to the families and my best wishes to all of those injured. we stand with the government and people of france. i trust that the french authorities will do all in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice quickly. this horrific attack is meant to divide. we must not fall into that trap. this is a moment for solidarity around the world, we must stand
strong for freedom of expression and tolerance and stand against the forces of division and hate. ladies and gentlemen, [ speaking french ] >> u.n. chief ban ki-moon expressing his condemnation of the attack which took place in france. and echoing what we heard from john kerry and barack obama, expressioning his solidarity with the french people. the city and country still very much in crisis as we try to track down these gunmen. and really the central message coming from world leaders is that freedom of speech must be preserved and protected. >> reporter: absolutely and that message from ban ki-moon where he talked about freedom of speech and expression being the cornerstone for democracy was
excooed by the underhigh commissioner for human rights. he has given a statement that says if this attack is meant to feed [ inaudible ] clear aim is to divide religions and societies. i'm very concerned this awful act will be exploited by extremists of all sorts. that is a statement out of the u.n. by the human right's chief of the united states. we're still awaiting a statement from the united nations security council. they have 15 nations on it one of those nations of course is france, and they all have to agree on a statement before it is put out in their name. if any country objects to the worlding, then they have to break the silence, but that hasn't happened yet, and it's likely that statement will be read out by the current president of the security council in about 40 minutes from now. >> when we get that reaction
we'll certainly return to you james bays. rush to the assistant professor of foreign policy at qatar university. the condemnation we have heard from world leaders, but also the expression that freedom of speech must be preserved. this attack is seen as very much an attack on french values and the philosophy in the country as a whole. i guess the irony is this could play very nicely into the hands of those who have sought to limit freedom of speech in the past. >> it's an attack of the french identity because liberty of freedom is one of the cornerstones. it's normal to see several world
leaders back up france and criticize and condemn the attack. here we do not have an attack on one side of international conflict. we have an attack on the value of civilization by a terrorist group that decided to operate in the daytime in the middle of paris in a very planned way. choosing wednesday at 11:20 which is a moment when you have less traffic, in a place that is so easy to get away it is going to be extremely hard for the french authorities to find the perpetrators. they may have vanished by our now. >> yes. the gunmen are still at large. we don't know if they have gone into hiding if they have received help or if they are trying to cross the border at this point. we know this is a very well
planned, well organized attack. 12 people were killed as we have been hearing, two policemen one was shot at close range in some footage that we saw, which really exposes the ruthlessness of the attackers. but my point earlier being that we see this worldwide solidarity this acknowledge that this is an attack on freedom of expression and yet the irony is that the public and political backlash after this sort of thing -- and you can argue we saw the same thing after 9/11 -- that this does play into the hands of -- of those that seek to crack down on -- on freedom of expression. i'm thinking of marine lapen. >> yes, in the sense that she is going to build support by playing on this islamaphobia. but i think you'll see more of
an alliance of the french population trying to back up the freedom of speech. marine lapen has been recently preventing some of the media to attend some of his meetings because they were overly critical. the -- shob was [ inaudible ] but still left-wing party there. i think what we'll see in france is as much as you have the support backing the united states -- we were all american after 9/11. you're going to see a movement that we're all this magazine. the same kind of demonstrations that we had in 2002 when the father of marine lapen was -- [ inaudible ] and all of
society actually had a movement to try to support the values of the french society. it will be interesting to see if finally that also we'll revive the support of parties that have been notoriously not going to the ballots for the last couple of elections, leading to the rise of marine lapen as a party. so these events may actually encourage people to go back to the ballots. the amount of people voting for marine lapen [ inaudible ] election that allows her to have victories in local ballots. >> all right. we'll return to you shortly. let's get the latest from jackie roland. she is still in paris for us. jackie take me through exactly what is happening where you are. a manhunt still underway the french capitol still on high
alert, and there must be an armed presence on the streets as efforts continue to track them down. >> reporter: well let's say the focus is slowly moving away now from the scene of the attack. obviously the emergency services are still here. people are still examining the scene. i'm sure that ballistics and forensic are -- are at work and obviously in the hospitals we still have four critically wounded people. but i would say the shift is starting to move now. in the next 15 minutes or so the public prosecutor here in paris is due to hold a news conference. clearly he'll be talking about the criminal investigation underway. then in about half an hour's time there has been a call for a public rally in support of freedom of speech to protest against violence which is to
take place in the center of paris. and of course at 8:00 local time which is in just about 2.5 hours from now, the president is due to appear on television to address the nation. now this will be the second appearance by the president today on french television. the first time he spoke live to television cameras about an hour after the attack when he came here to the scene of the shooting when he expressed his outrage and commitment to devote all necessary resources to pursuing these assailants and making it quite clear that the hunt will go on until they are located. he'll be speaking again in a couple of hour's time to -- i think basically bring french citizens up to date on how the investigation is going, and also to reassure them about the steps that the government is taking and also that's been taken
throughout the country on a local level by local police forces. local municipalities to ensure that any other potential targets for attacks are being protected and also that the government and local authorities are doing everything they can to do as much as possible to ensure the safety of french people wherever they are. >> all right. jackie thanks very much. i think we can listen to a clip of what the french president had to say when he spoke after the attack. >> translator: an act of exceptional bararism has been committed here against a newspaper. against journalists who always wanted to show that they would work in france to defend their ideas and having this liberty and freedom that our public protects. there were also police officers here to protect them. and journalists and police officers have been killed.
right at this minute there are 11 dead people. four more are in critical condition. we still don't have the definitive toll of all of the victims. but there are 40 people now who are safe and protected. in a few hours we'll know the exact toll. i have ordered that meeting be held at 2:00 this afternoon of all of the responsibility ministers who are directly concerned as far as protecting our country is concerned. we must make safe all places where the same sort of attacks could happen again. so we have engaged the plan. there are also actions that have been immediately launched following this aggression to find the people who did this. they will be pursued for as long as necessary to be arrested and put in front of a court and a judge so they can be prosecuted. today france has suffered a shock. a shock following an attack that is terrorists.
there can be no doubt about that. on a newspaper that has been threatened before and was protected because of that. in these moments it's important for us to be in one block. to show we are a united country, that we know how to react in a way that is needed. that means with firmness but always with the interests of the nation paramount. that will be my will through the next days and weeks. i will have to speak to the french people again soon because i have said we are now in an extremely difficult moment. several terrorist attacks have been foiled in the past weeks. we are threatened because we are a country of freedom, and because of that we will control these threats and punish the aggressors. no one should think they can attack the spirit of the republic. that is to say a newspaper. and i think today of the
victims, 11 people are dead 4 are between life and death. we are here and we will have in our hearts to find those who carried out this attack and we call for national unity. >> of course that was the president speaking a little bit earlier. he said that 11 people were dead we know the death toll now stands at 12. the president has since met with senior politicians at the palace. his office has issued this picture. he has been discussing security issues with advisors as you would expect after that deadly attack. international leaders have strongly condemned the attack. british prime minister david cameron saying: the russian president said: ban
ki-moon also really saying the same thing, describing it as a despicable and horrendous about. u.s. participate barack obama say say saying: well i'm joined by recommendny assist important professor of public policy at qatar university. we were expecting the french president to speak at 1900 gmt. what can we expect from him? >> well it's going to be very important for him. the main criticism on francois hollande is his lack of leadership. he has put in place some policies in different sectors but has never been able to communicate about them. and a lot of commentators make
fun of his incapacity to show leadership. so this is a defining moment. he needs to explain we should continue our lives the way that live has been. not giving in to the terrorists. >> -- you have spoken about how the far right party will seek to capitol horizon this attack in paris. what could it mean for francois hollande in his position. >> he was already scheduled to lose the next elections. the main elections for him are in 2017. obviously marine lapen in the short run will capitalize on the
islamic attack because the whole platform is on islamaphobia. but down the road those are values that marine lapen has regularly stepped on freedoms of the press. so other -- other more traditional political leaders might be able to capitalize on this and bring more support from their electoral bases. it is very complicated to act against limited cells. finding automatic weapons in europe is not as complicated as it used to be. with the different conflicts in europe. you can have access to automatic weapons for such actions. those terror attacks are closer to organized crimes than we have
seen in the past than traditional terrorism. to be able to counter those attacks needs to put in place large international corporation. surveillance of a series of very large numbers of potential suspects and eventually maybe cross-examine information. it is going to take a lot of time. being able to prevent attacks is a goal of the secret service. they claim two weeks ago they were able to prevent an attack. >> i suppose that's precisely the problem, it is very difficult to predict an attack like this. it's very difficult to know when or where such an attack might take place. but we do know this organization had been targeted in the past. in 2011 they were fire bombed after publishing certain images of the profit mohammed.
and they were no strangers to acts of violence. so will there be questions and concerns about whether this attack should have been anticipated? >> obviously there were some plans on attacking the newspaper in some terrorist cells. whether you want to imagine they changed locations, the editor in chief never wanted to show fear. i'm pretty sure it was suggested to them but they were always placed in that part of paris which is close to the traditional place of the plaza, all of those places where you have the labor union strikes or demonstration on may the 1st -- >> it's unlikely they would have
consented to change their location or move to a place that might perhaps be safer. >> exactly. the whole idea behind them is to not cave in against threats or censorship. so they knew what they were doing was dangerous. but the shob was known to say i would rather die standing up than to die kneeling in front of oppression. >> all right. we'll continue our conversation but for now thanks. as we were talking -- we were mentioning the satirical paper that was really known for its provacative publications. in the early hours of
november 2nd, 2011 the office was fire bombed and its website hacked. the office was particularly busy when this attack took place. the newspaper was holding its new year editorial meeting. among those who died are some of france's most famous cartoonist. the paper's publisher also died. the others were these two: we're joined by a representative from reporters
without boarders. and i guess the sentiment we're hearing from leaders around the world that this attack has been seen as very much an attack on not just france paris, or this publication, but on certain values that are crucial to the french identity if you would like on freedom of speech and expression. do you see it that way? >> of course. first of all, i want to relay how again, and again, how shocked we are, and the emotion that is right now in paris. and attacking a news room in paris is not only attacking a specific cartoonist it's clearly attacking freedom of information, freedom of the press. and as -- as you say earlier, really the amazing journalists who died today -- and i still cannot believe they are dead
actually. it's so unreal. they were the first saying i prefer to die standing than to leave on my knees. and they were publishing the most controversial, the most provocative images on many issues. >> i was just going to ask you that because it's important to point out that the magazine hasn't just targeted islam. can you tell me more about their philosophy. >> it is a very well-known satyrical magazine in france. it's part of the french decor, if i want to say. it's really one of the best examples of freedom of the press
of where all provocation can be made. and they were targeting aniry i will gones, any political parties. they are really incarnating freedom of press at its best. there were no limits no sides taken, and that's why today, i actually -- all of the medias in france are gathering together to express their superport, and their shock. i don't know if you know but all around paris and france there are like spontaneous gathering happening now, and it's amazing how everybody feels touched, and -- >> and can we expect then to see more of these gatherings and rallies in the coming days and weeks? >> of course because we are all charlie abdul as the hashtag
appears on social media pretty quickly. when you attack a news room with guns you are not attacking just a newspaper, you are attacking all freedom to express yourselves and everybody was attacked today. but what is important is even if 12 people were killed today, this freedom was not killed and that's really the message that all french media, and french citizen and everyone around the world who care about press freedom thinks today, and wants to -- to share today. and that's really what we should take from this tragedy, that freedom of the press is not dead. >> and of course we have been hearing messages -- we have been hearing comments about how this should -- this should unite paris and all people in france.
we have heard messages of solidarity from world leaders, but what about divisions within the country, and i'm thinking about existing divisions, to what extent will this expose that diverse -- dy ver gansz? >> so i always feel bad when any tragedy like that occurred when the muslim community has to apologize or try to express their distance with this kind of extremist crazy acts and that's what we are already seeing today. many muslim representatives of the french community or muslim people who are like islam is a
peaceful religion. it's not my religion and i'm sure [ inaudible ] right now or anywhere in france there's a lot of french muslim people. so i feel always kind of bad when the muslim community has to apologize for these barbaric acts. they are not muslims. they are just terrorists. and i really hope this wish of national unity will be maintained and will be part of the consequence of this terrorist attack. >> thanks very much. let's rejoin remi. picking up on what she was saying will we see unity, people rallying together or perhaps an initial show of -- of
people making a standing against this sort of violence and then perhaps is there a risk of a certain community or a certain group of people coming under attack and being targeted themselves? >> right now as we are talking there are several rallies especially around [ inaudible ] which is very close to the [ inaudible ]. i think everybody is shocked and they will go to the streets. even this community is under jeopardy since marine lapen just said she will not call for joining those rallies in the streets. so you see a difference between the support of freedom of expression, and those that will try to make political gains out of these events. blaming this on islam or terrorism to try to make gains. i also feel for the muslim
community. 99.9% of the muslim community are peaceful. you see the difference here in french politics. most of the parties will call for rally and joining people in the streets. and the most extreme party will not join in. >> the magazine is really known for its satire isn't it. they have faced threats of closure, and come under attack most notably in 2011 as we were saying. what is different about this attack. >> what is interesting, is the very idea of making fun of the powerful is a french value it's a. this is a french value that needs to be protected. to be able to criticize and make fun of different religions, and
different political leaders. they did not specifically target the muslim religion. what is interesting is to see how people will use that moment and maybe that will be a call for a revival of the french values and french identity and not turn away from the ballots, elections, from the building of integration of communities inside of [ inaudible ]. >> but how does that sit with the backlash that we have seen against globalization, anti-islamist sentiment? backlash against the whole euro project in recent years? is this wishful thinking what you are talking about? >> i don't think so. we see here several events in
terrorist attacks in different countries. unfortunately we'll see others in other countries, and they always target a central value of europe which is freedom of speech which is the capacity to advocate for one's opinions not letting yourself be subdued by other interests or political forces of religious convictions. there might be a positive -- if you can find a positive in this horrible action -- that the population of france and europe will rally around these ideals. >> all right. thanks very much. we'll return to you a little bit later. but the magazine as we were telling you, it spent really the last 20 years lampooning public figures in france and europe as
well. dominic kane reports. >> reporter: for more than 20 years they have shocked and amused people ever week causing controversy with satirical policy. it uses a combination of cartoons and articles to put across its message of freedom of speech. often with unflattering caricatures of public officials. but in recent years it has been regularly criticized over its depiction of islam. in one edition it renamed itself. its offices were fire bombed after the publication. less than 12 months later, the editor spoke to al jazeera about what motivated him and his colleagues. >> translator: it's been 20 years that we have, quote unquote, been provocative on many different subjects.
it just so happens that every time we deal with radical islam we have a problem. >> reporter: it's now been confirmed that he was one of the editorial team who died in this attack there the threat of violence against the magazine had prompted the police to provide security for some members of staff, something the french president mentioned when he visited the scene of the crime. >> translator: there will be no dhut this was a terrorist attack on a newspaper that had been threatened several times, and which was protected because of that. >> reporter: in one of his last cartoons stephane talked about the lack of attacks in france so far. but now, he and many of his colleagues are dead. dominic kane al jazeera. france's foreign policy has undergone a turn around in the last ten years. it lead opposition to the iraq war.
ten years later france has been the first to join the u.s.-lead air strikes. it is also hawkish on syria and iran, and sent troops to central african republic to quell growing i violence there. it was part of the operation which ousted moammar gadhafi. but there is suspicious that much of hollande's keenness on action overseas might because of his sinking economy. how would you describe french foreign policy in recent years, more hawkish, or pragmatic. >> i wouldn't say pragmatic. but he depends key values of the french constitution such as freedom and preventing terrorism from growing. you mentioned the lack of action
in iraq because it wasn't about terrorism. but it's action in afghanistan, for example, it's action in syria, and action in [ inaudible ] a few years ago was against terrorism. what is ironic is that hollande was boasting that we do not have any more hostages around the world. and that was a way to portray a victory against terrorism. after the release of the last hostage, we have a terrorist attack inside of france. >> how much concern has been there about something like this happening on french soil given the sort of more interventionist
nature of french foreign policy in recent years. >> we always knew there was a risk of a backlash but it is always easy to imagine a risk than to leave it in every day life. there has been terrorist attacks on a regular basis. in 1993 i remember bombs exploding in the metro. we are accustomed to having this threat. you cannot have an intervention interventionist policy without having to potentially face backlash back home. and the existence of french citizens in syria among isis being trained and come back for a terrorist attack has been known for a few months and we were scared of this happening. and it has happened today. >> do you see continuing public domestic support for french foreign policy or will that be part of the debate in this wake of this attack. >> the [ inaudible ] behind
[ inaudible ] the policy is. there is no real debate about [ inaudible ] the possibilities of france to act internationally, because the french population will not want to cave in. will not to say oh we will not intervene anymore, and give terrorists what they want to have. i believe it will reinforce the claim for freedom of speech and reinforce democracy by turning out to ballots. >> what are relikely to see in terms of security measures to counter radicallization inside of the country? >> we will see a lot of actions for sure. you will see military on the streets, control in train stations and airports obviously around town but my gut feeling is the threat is not more
important in france today than it was yesterday. we're talking about cells present in different countries. the terrorist that had this attack in paris are most likely already out of paris. it's just two hour's of car drive outside of paris. and there are a series of network of terrorist cells all over europe and potentially all over the u.s. that could be a target in the future. >> there is so much we don't know about the circumstances surrounding this attack. we know an unknown number of gunmen managed to burst into these offices. 12 people were kills, two police officers were killed and then they managed to get away. but it was well organized, well planned. they are in possession of automatic weapons. i know you said it is not that difficult given the presence of criminal gangs in europe it's
not difficult to get ahold of these weapons. but it's still a pretty remarkable attack to have carried out in the french capitol and these men are still at large. >> we have seen similar attacks against casinos, or banks, or trucks carrying cash. this is typically organized crime behavior. it is most likely that these people have been in prison in the past and shared a cell from organized crime groups. learning the tricks. >> the counter terrorism experts we have spoken to would say the nature of this attack the way it was carried out, suggest that they have definitely had some sort of professional military training which raises questions about groups organizations they might be affiliated with.
and who else might be involved. >> i guess the first steps would be to look at the ammunition used. where was this weapon coming from ukraine or different organization. and try to track down what are the most likely roots to support those terrorists. >> we'll continue our conversation very shortly. you are watching al jazeera, it is 1700 gmt, 6:00 pm in paris. these are the words of the editor saying i don't understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. a newspaper is not a weapon of war. in that is the editor and chief of the newspaper. he escaped today's attack because he was in london but at least nine journalists and two police officers are dead. and a massive