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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 7, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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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 man hunt is
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underway. >> reporter: amateur footage shows two black-hooded gunmen making their escape. a policeman is spot at point-blank range. in french the men are heard to shout we have avenged the profit mohammed we have killed shob, before fleeing. shob is thought to be this fan, editor in chief of the magazine. he was reportedly killed along with a number of his staff. amid the chaos that followed the attack at about midday paris time the president arrived on the scene. >> translator: it's an act of exceptional barbarity that has been committed against a newspaper, a newspaper that standings for freedom of
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expression. >> reporter: the president announced that france was on its high estate of alert. >> translator: we have launched a series of measures following this act of aggression to find the perpetrators. they will be hunted for as long as is necessary. >> reporter: as bullets were fired bystanders cowered behind parked cars. the police have not net confirmed how many people died in this attack. >> translator: a van arrived with three masked men and they used automatic weapons and killed everything they saw inside. we estimated about 10 to 11 people are died. between those who died inside and two colleagues of ours who have also died. >> reporter: an eyewitness describes the scene. >> translator: i just got a glimpse, i saw people on the roof who were filming, then i
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saw a new car driving. then the car stopped 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. the french interior ministry confirmed that three attackers were involved and it does appear likely the publication was targeted because of its satirical portrayal of political and religious leaders. let's join jackie rollland
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now. we have been talking about the shock. what is happening now where you are at the moment? >> reporter: well the emphasis emphasis -- the focus is shifting away from the scene of the shooting to other parts of paris. a short distance away a spontaneous rally is taking place, where people are holding up signs that say i am charlie. a way really for people saying this attack touches them personally. throughout the day, many leaders, politicians, other people have spoken to say this is really an attack not on an individual newspaper, not even on the media as a whole, but against freedom of speech against democracy against the values on which the french republic is based.
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>> jackie the expectation seems to be that given the magnitude of this attack and really the impact it could have been oh psyche of people there, it is seen as an attack on french society, and we are likely to see more of these rallies perhaps in the coming weeks. >> reporter: well certainly at the moment we're looking at the coming hours, the paris prosecutor we're expecting him to speak. in fact we thought he would already be spook-- speaking trying to assure people that efforts are really being deployed effectively. but also as well the rally that i mentioned, a lot of other symbolic signs. flags are flying at half mast. the flags at the palace are flying at half mast and also
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elsewhere. and there are similar rallies taking place in other cities. basically to understanding line that people across the country reject the violence and are demonstrating unity in the defense of values that are essentially french. >> right. and what about political reaction in we're expecting the president to speak in just a little under two hours from now. but what was his initial reaction in the aftermath of the attack? >> reporter: the president was on the scene of the shooting. he was here within an hour of first reports that the shooting had taken place. his message was very clear. he described it as an absolutely barbaric attack announced that france was being placed on
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terror alert, and emphasized that all resources would be bought to bare to track these perpetrators down and this manhunt would take as long as it needed to take to catch these people. so francois hollande key to be seen leading from the front. at the scene of the shooting within an hour of the attack. within two hours of the attack chairing a meeting of his security cabinet. this is a president who has scored record lows in popularity poles here in france. he is pretraded as weak his personal life has been put under the spotlight recently. this really is a challenge for him to show himself as a leader -- >> jackie apologies for cutting in. but let's listen to david
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cameron. >> -- everyone should combine to stand with the french people at this time. >> german chancellor and british prime minister expressing their solidarity with the french people. and that echos what we have heard from u.s. president barack obama, ban ki-moon and john kerry who said that this attack was very much -- very much represented -- an attack on those values which are not just french values but -- let's just listen in to what we're hearing here a little bit more.
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>> this is an attack against [ inaudible ] freedom of the press, freedom in general and [ inaudible ] french people [ inaudible ] everything we can do to help the french people. >> thank you very much. thank you. >> we have been listening to david cameron, and the german chancellor speaking in london. jackie rowland still with us. jackie we heard them echoing sentiments that we have heard from other world leaders condemning this attack and saying it represents an attack on all f -- of our values. >> reporter: that's very much the message we have been hearing really from politicians across the spectrum here in france.
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the leader of the opposition also appeared live on television shortly after the attack describing it as an assault against democracy. marine lapen the leader of the far right party who has herself spoken out very controversially in the past about what she regarded as the islamization of france she also condemned the attack. one of the most interesting live interventions i heard on french television was from a french im immom, who spoke out very strongly against the attack. he described the perpetrators as criminals, and said they had nothing to do with islam. and he called on what he called the silent majority of the
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islamic community to speak out against this kind of attack. he himself is under 24-hour security. the authorities have said they are going to be stepping up protection around what they see as installations, buildings, people who could be at threat. so we're going to see a heightened security presence outside of media companies, more security at major transport hubs outside places of worships anywhere where there could be retaller to attacks. >> jackie sorry to interrupt, but i understand we can hear from the prosecutor. let's listen in. >> translator: we have mobilized
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the case with the head of terrorists and infractions to do with guns terrorism, criminal acts to prepare terrorist acts to -- to take -- to do various crimes. this has been sent to the judiciary police. the anti-terrorist unit and also the anti-terrorist unit -- and also the ministry of interior -- the director to the minister of interior. i can only give you certain facts about the attack. so we know two individuals went into the magazine.
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a citron c3 car arrived in front of the magazine at 10 past 11:00. two individuals were in the car with hoods -- with two [ inaudible ] guns. these individuals standing at two guards -- exactly where the magazine was. the individuals went into the magazine offices and went towards the -- the main editorial room where all of the journalists were gathered. one -- they shot ten people, eight journalists, one policeman, a protection policeman, and an invited person. according to witnesses, they
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shouted we will avenge the name of the profit. after the shooting they ran back to the car. they took the road purpose diction to the road of the magazine. they came across a policeman and they shot each other. he was wound ed. this policeman who was patrolling -- they came back to this policeman and shot him and killed him. and then at [ inaudible ] they also shot at a third policeman at the [ inaudible ]. one of the policemen was hit.
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according to three witnesses -- we understand that the three -- the driver and the two attackers northeast voel k wagon to run in the 19th [ inaudible ]. they hijacked that car, harmed the driver. they -- they left that car at [ inaudible ]. and then hijacked a third car. took -- took the car and sped off in this one. investigations -- several deep investigations are going on. obviously, huge mobilization of all of the different services. and also i cannot tell you about these investigations in
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order to preserve the confidentiality of those people who are undertaking the investigations and are in pursuit of these attackers. so obviously i don't have to stress how dangerous it is to you -- to tell you. and also the media's responsibility at this point. another press conference when we can tell you more will be convened. i remind you that the call for witnesses has been launched and they can contact us on 0805021717 a call for any witnesses. we have also activated the crisis terrorist unit.
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various different magistrates, and lawyers and different agencies have been activated by this. the 12 people who have been kill killed 11 have also been wounded and 4 are in a serious state. this is the number of the victims. 088424247 is available for any victims or relatives of victims. the police headquarters have given this line. those that have been killed or wounded, this information has
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been transmitted to the ministry of justice. we have also brought in specialists, trauma psychiatrists, and specific unit to help those that -- to be helped -- to help the victims. thank you very much for your attention. >> so we have been listening to the paris prosecutor taking us through the events that took place this morning. in many ways confirming what we already know. a massive manhunt is underway for three attackers who stormed the magazine offices this morning, killing 12 people,
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including two policemen before making their escape. this is what we know at the moment. he said an investigation is underway as police continue their efforts to track these men down. let's go to jackie roland who is still live for us in paris. i suppose what we heard there from the paris prosecutor confirming that this was a well-organized well-planned attack. >> reporter: yes, it was very interesting to hear the chronology pieced together now several hours after the attack. fwauz when i first arrived on the scene which was about the same time the french president arrived, we were just getting fragments of information. we were told there were two attackers, we learned later there were three. and we have more details of how the attack took place. the sequence of events. we have reported that apparently the attackers shouted out god is great, and also that they said
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we are avenging the profit profit -- profits name. also getting more details there on the escape route that two different cars were hijacked. another couple of cars that were hijacked afterwards. and in fact the attackers were heading towards the north of paris, towards those suburbs which have in the past been scenes of anti-riots that have pitched members of the large predominantly immigrant communities against the police notably in 2005, an area where there is a high muslim population. and also high unemployment. so it's understanding that the attackers were heading generally in that sort of direction after they hijacked this series of
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cars. also very interesting to hear the kind of other steps that have been put into effect. the fact that there is now a crisis -- this kind of crisis mechanism which has been put into -- into place, that will allow all of the police forces ash the country to be able to contact each other swiftly. swift transfer of information, ensuring there is a concerted effort here. and details as well about the kind of support for the victims and people traumatized by the attack. i know as well as dealing with the dead and wounded, there were also about 40-ish people who were in shock, traumatized. but it was important what the prosecutor didn't say, as well he made a point that there were certain details he was not going to reveal. i'm clear there is a lot more
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going on beneath the surface. >> that's right. we still don't know the identity of these attackers, and police authorities are still trying to track them down jackie. in terms of public reaction you were telling me about rallies taking place across the country. and one gathering takes place not far from where you are now. >> reporter: yes. a gathering -- semispontaneous, a call went out on special media, and people were planning to gather and that rally started a short while ago. this is in fact a spontaneous rally if you would like. it's a place where often demonstrations take place. it's a popular place for people to gather to rally together in paris. and i was watching images of that just a short while ago, and people holding up signs saying i am charlie. so really people saying if you
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are attacking this newspaper, you are also attacking me in other words you are attacking not just the media, but you are attacking freedom of speech freedom of expression and you are attacking values on which the french republic is founded. so people expressing unity in the face of this attack. we have throughout the day, heard a number of french leaders calling for unity, for the country to come together and put aside individual political differences, to face up to this violent and shocking attack against a newspaper, and really against freedom of speech in france. >> yes, as you say, jackie there has been condemnation and message of unity from political leaders there in france but also from leaders around the world. a few minutes ago we heard from the german chancellor and the british prime minister. u.s. secretary of state john kerry also spoke a short while
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ago. >> i would like to say directly to the people of paris and all of france that each and every american stands with you today, not just in horror or in anger, or in outrage for this vicious act of violence but we stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremism, and in the cause which the extremist fear so much and which has always united our two countries, freedom. no country knows better than france that freedom has a price, because france gave birth to democracy democracy itself. born of freedom and of free expression, and that is what the extremests fear the most.
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>> rosiland jordan joining us live from washington, d.c. tell me more about the mood the atmosphere there in the u.s. capitol in the make of what just happened in paris. >> well there's certainly a concern and a lot of work going on behind the scene. but there hasn't been any visible change in the security posture here in the u.s. capitol. of course since the september 11th, 2001 attacks, there has been a heightened state of alert. you do see more police officers stationed outside of federal buildings and around the general washington area but there hasn't been any visible change
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in the way that security is being handled in this country. what is important to note is that there had not been any recent discussion of security concerns that might lead to what some would call a terrorist attack but certainly authorities are taking a second look, a closer look as we speak at the information they have to see whether or not any changes in security should be made right now. >> and speaking about potential changes in security laws any word from the u.s. embassy in paris? is it business as usual? >> the u.s. embassy in paris put out a versus terse statement saying despite all of the rumors to the contrary that it was open for business even though this attack apparently took place not far from the embassy come pound. this is something that would be done with consultation with
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authorities here at the u.s. state department about the security posture at any embassy or consulate around the world. certainly in light of the september 11th, 2012 attack. there is more awareness of the security threat to these facilities overseas. but the u.s. government was very quick to put down the rumors that the embassy was going to be closed to all visitors because of what happened earlier on wednesday. >> all right. rosiland jordan thanks very much for that. we want to show you the moment the two attackers escaped from the newspaper's offices. it was up loaded on to social media. and a warning that these images are shocking. [ gunfire ] >> the police officer falls to ground and lies huddled on the
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pavement. the officer appears to raise his hand against them. and then he is shot dead. the gunmen shout as they run up the street and as the shouts stops, things go quiet. they get in the car. they drive off, past the policeman they just killed. i spoke with an economist with the french "huffington post." he explains the political ramifications of these attacks. >> obviously everybody is shocked. journalists who have been working for decades and were prefending freedom of speech. so the reactions are really
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huge. it's on a much much smaller scale, of course. it's a bit like september 11th. it's really shocking. we didn't see journalists killed like that since 1945. so it's really something astonishing for the french audience and the press obviously. >> what sort of discussion are we going to see play out in the coming days and weeks. i know it's still early days. the city still very much in the middle of a crisis because there is a manhunt underway. these attackers managed to escape. expressed the solidarity with the french people at this time and let's listen in. >> i think all of us recognize
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that france is one of our oldest and strongest allies and they have been with us at every moment so this is around the world for us to see the kind of cowardly evil attacks that took place today, i think we have forces once again of why it's so important to stay in solidarity for them as they stand in solidarity with us. the fact this was an attack on journalists and attack on our free press and also underscores these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of press. but one thing i'm very confident about is that the values that we share