welcome. thank you for joining us on "france 24." french police have cordoned off a town 40 kilometers north of paris. after three-hour standoff, officials say that phone contact has been made and a lawmaker at the command post says that the kouachi brothers say they want to die as martyrs. thank you for being with us. has there been any movement? >> you can hear sirens blaring in the background. about 20 minutes ago, seven vans full of the soldiers drove by in great haste. about 700 meters away from the factory where the suspects are
inside and they're holding a hostage of the moment. the situation is very tense. we are watching closely. >> these 2 men are inside the factory. give us a sense of the setup. >> we spoke to a local resident about 20 minutes ago who told us this morning that he had eight helicopters in the sky and there were soldiers coming down into the streets of this town, about 40 kilometers outside. he sought snipers on the roof of the factory. really, these 2 brothers said and cherif kouachi, are surrounded. they are on lockdown. presidents -- residents are told to stay indoors. other wisdom the whole area is on lockdown.
we are waiting to see what happens next. >> we will contact you as soon as more comes out. results replace in a massive manhunt overnight. the pair is reported to have hijacked a car at daybreak. police closed in in a brief car chase. hundreds of security forces backed by ambulances have streamed to that town. the area has been declared a no-fly zone. let's go now to the second attack that took place on thursday morning. just outside the capital. to remind our viewers, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and tearing handgun attacked police officers. one police agent was killed at the scene and a man who tried to stop the shooter was also shot. the attack was linked to one
state -- to wednesday's perpetrators the two brothers. for more on this, what were doing on this? -- what more do we know on this? >> it depends on what we mean by "links." french police say they have established a link between the suspect in the shooting in the two suspects in the "charlie hebdo" massacre, the kouachi brothers. the suspects in both shootings were part of a similar jihadist network. they knew each other, according to french authorities, from the days that these brothers were running a jihadist recruitment ring in northeastern paris.
but that does not mean that the 2 attacks were coordinated. that does not mean that was a plan to carry out the shooting straight after the "charlie hebdo" massacre. >> let's go now to the elysees palace. first, let's listen to a clip of what president hollande said this morning. he met with cabinet ministers and then with marine le pen leader of the national front. he had this to say. >> we are also working on a more robust prevention of any repeat of the events we have just witnessed. we know that such a repetition -- there were particularly
serious events in december that show the possibility that certain people would use existing disarray to provoke another disaster. >> as i mentioned, eve irvine is standing by at the élysée palace . that was the french president speaking after the terror attacks, making a point of thanking the security forces. now -- why now? as we>> as recited today, one of the targets of the attack, the yankees officer of 27, 8 -- young police officer of 27. while they say that all of france has been attacked and freedom of press and expression has been attacked, it has to be noted that the police forces are direct victims from these attacks. president francois hollande did leave the élysée palace after a
crisis meeting with the ministers. it led to direct talks with his interior minister and prime minister. he short while ago did walk back from the interior ministry, a solitary and solemn figure as he walked back into the élysée palace. it is agenda for the rest of the day is going from one to the next looking at the developing situation. >> we also had the french leader calling for unity and also calling on the french not to be too afraid to come out and join these demonstrations, the spontaneous ones that have been taking place on wednesday but also the one planned on sunday. >> indeed, he wanted this spontaneous show of solidarity and defiance to continue and that would not be stopped despite france having pushed the security level to its maximum. he said that on sunday's march
it is one of unity and absolutely every citizen of france is invited to take part. it is a sentiment repeated in the voice of the centrist politician who left of the élysée palace of short while ago having met with francois hollande. it should not be about politics, it should be about showing that france as a public is saying no to what happened on wednesday and will not count down to terrorism. -- not cow down to terrorism. >> i'm told that the interior minister is about to speak, or perhaps the prime minister. this story developing as we speak. we are looking at the official reaction now and we can go live -- i think -- to paris. the prime minister speaking now. >> the connection we have seen happen is outstanding -- compassion have seen happen is outstanding. i don't think new legislation is
in order. as president hollande said today and yesterday to the chairs of the political parties in both houses of parliament, what we are faced with, it is only legitimate questions should arise regarding our legislative arsenal. but we shouldn't rush to decisions in terms of not improvising such circumstances. representatives of the various parliamentary groups are also there to work on these issues overtime. investigations are merely beginning. the authors of these attacks have not been placed under arrest yet. we should not rush to conclusions. of course, perhaps, things might evolve in the way in which the
state of law and democracy live in this country. >> if you are just joining us, watching the french prime minister manuel valls, on what new legislation might be put into effect following the attack on wednesday. the attack on thursday left one police officer dedicated let's go back to eve irvine outside the élysée palace. is there any clear information on how france may respond to this crisis as far as legislation is concerned? >> know, for the minute it looks like they are addressing the immediate ongoing situation. they stepped up the terror alert to maximum as we heard from the interior minister this morning.
forces have been deployed to the northeast of paris. it would be french president francois hollande who would give the final order to enter the building. they are playing it from one minute to the next right now. you just heard manue vl valls say that it is normal in situations like this that we question the security situation in the country but all people want to remain calm and not draw any immediate conclusions. francois hollande speaking earlier said that he did not want the agreement to close. he wanted continued movement across the european borders and for france to still welcome a silence speakers. >> the talk of closing the borders -- this was marine le pen, the leader of the far right national front party, that was her point, the point she made to francois hollande this morning. tell us about that meeting.
>> marine le pen came out very strongly, repeating her line that for her, radical fundamentalism has declared war on france. she has been signaling the alert for quite some time that such an attack could take place. she wanted the agreement to be stopped absolutely as of now. she came out quite angry about this protest that is going to be held on sunday. she feels she wasn't invited that she was excluded from all the talks and all the other political parties of unity in france and she will not be taking part in the demonstration. >> thank you very much for that. the reasons given by the french officials, the ruling socialists for not inviting marine le pen, her stance on immigration and the link she is making between islam and the terror attacks. i'm joined by an author and historian. thank you for being with us on "france 24."
what are you making of how the french authorities are handling the crisis? >> not only for francois hollande, i think that's what -- i think francois hollande did good managing of the situation from the beginning. national unity is something very important in the french tradition. it belongs to the first world war. it is handling very well the situation. but of course, on the subject of this meeting from sunday is a political problem. you see how they come back in this moment of unification. >> not inviting marine le pen
is that not breaking the unity? >> i'm not clear she has not been invited. >> not officially. >> it is a political game, because for francois hollande, he is officially invite marine le pen. it is a way of normalization and on the other side, it is victimization of marine le pen. it is something very difficult to manage. you see from the beginning that marine le pen tried to use it for political reasons. >> to her advantage. beyond the administration's response to marine le pen french politicians are struggling to keep a united front. not everyone agrees on how to handle this. the conservative party thinks she should have been invited. this unity didn't last very long. >> this unity cannot last very
long because of the political structure in france. there is a majority and opposition and opposition is always struggling against the majority. there is a force and the game is always to be against the other. so national unity is very difficult in the political geometry. >> thank you very much co. you were telling us about this second attack that took place on thursday. we are showing pictures of this thick fog sending on that town just north of paris where the 2 suspects are holed up with a hostage. we now hear that the attacks were linked.
our authorities getting a clearer picture of what is going on? >> i think all it means is that the police getting a clearer idea of the suspect and they are telling us that the suspect was known to the kouachi brothers because they are part of the same network originally from northeastern paris. that does not mean that the attacks were coordinated and that does not mean that there is a whole chain of attacks planned. you were just going from moment to moment. >> officially this man is still on the loose. >> been identified -- >> not been -- ok. i'm told we can go back to claire williams, who joins us from the scene where the factory is surrounded by police. heavy fog dissenting on the
town. what is the latest? >> as you say, very difficult conditions here for the french army on lockdown -- coming down from the helicopter and then they saw snipers on the building, where we know the suspects are. we also see that students inside have been evacuated, where they are going to meet their parents. it is an extremely tense situation for this small town. >> how did we get to this standoff? >> the two brothers made to get away this morning from the
picardie region. they stole a car the second car they stole in the past 24 hours and they came back towards paris. we understand they may have spent the night in the woods. now, as i said they are close to the airport. contact has been made with them and they say they want to die as martyrs. >> thank you very much for that. let me come back to you now. obviously, we are looking at the situation minute by minute developing actually quite slowly now. the latest we have is that they have made contact with these two men. they are saying they want to die as martyrs. and yet these two men have been
wearing bulletproof jackets. isn't that contradictory? >> i really wonder what they actually want. they chose to carry out a paramilitary assault, not a suicide mission. >> they could have stayed in that first place until police arrived. >> done the shooting and gotten into a shootout then and there. what was the point of trying to get away? perhaps they planned to keep doing this kind of thing in the future except they made this huge mistake of leaving the identity card of one of the brothers in the car when they switched cars. they are clearly not infallible. perhaps the fact that they tried to get away might suggest that they were planning to stay in the business of jihadism, for want of a better expression. i'm not sure what they themselves are trying to work
out what they want because presumably they expected such a quick operation to close in on them. you remember with the toulouse shooter, it took a long time, huge police operation. this was after he had bragged to a tv or radio station about his killing. in this case, police had more to go on because they had this identity card, they had the number plates of the first car, and so on. and they had the suspect turning himself in to give more information. perhaps the suspect didn't expect this to happen quite so quickly. but who knows ultimately what their endgame is. they cannot expect to be getting out of this company.
there is no way they could think they were going to be allowed out with hostage. >> one was inside at the time -- >> printing company and the owner, his wife, the son, three members of the same family. a graphic designer and the salesperson. five in total. >> schools have been evacuated around the town where they are holed up. they are in an industrial area and it should not be more collateral damage except for the security people perhaps filling the building. the general public should be safe from at least those two. they are surrounded now. >> that big question is what happens to the hostage.
and whether the split-second decisions -- if you think back to the sydney siege which was carried out by a mentally unstable man, nothing like the professional coolness and determination that these brothers have shown as professional killers, and at that point there were two hostages killed in that situation and in marketplace in sydney. the hostage taker was an amateur. here was something much more sophisticated. it was a situation where the special forces would go in and when they believed there was an imminent threat to the life of the hostage. >> all around the life of that one hostage. can you tell us something more about these men and the links to
yemen? the elder brother spoke to a yemeni preacher, telling us that he doesn't believe that. >> to me it doesn't matter that much. people now suddenly pledge of allegiance at the drop of a hat to the islamic state or all nusra or -- i forget the name of the new extremist organization that the white house suddenly said appeared recently in syria. these things are quite fluid. the point is that you don't have to belong to any particular organization you don't have to have a proven connection to agaqap or anyone else to have these advanced weapons or the ability to use them. whenever it was they learned to use of these automatic weapons whether it was in a forest in
france somewhere or in syria or in iraq, ultimately what does it matter? they had that capacity. the security arrangements were not set up at the office in central paris to deal with a paramilitary assault by multiple gunmen. the point is not the labels as such but you morph is nature of jihad is an -- the amorphous nature of jihadism itself. you have this thing that is taking me for just and disagree services by surprise. there was expectation that it would be a matter of time before a syrian -- sorry, french jihadist from syria would attack the french target. that is not what this is. this is people who were in a sense pioneers of french jihad. one of these brothers was convicted of running a ring sending jihadists to al qaeda in
iraq as early as 2004. essentially, a granddaddy of what we are now seeing, the french jihad. 34, considerably older than these teenagers who are now going to syria. the point is that the french syrian connection may be the incubation period, but no one expected this folder generation of -- this older generation of pro-al qaeda in iraq people to morph into this kind of attack what is it now, 10 years after those brothers first became radicalized, 10 years after they were going for jocks in this park in paris to discuss how to liberate iraq from the american occupier. you cannot really predict what form the next manifestation of
jihad is going to take. >> that makes for worrying context. we are getting this just coming in. there's been shots fired, just over 35 minutes ago. another to come out of paris just next to paris. shots hurt. -- shots heard. i will bring you more as soon as we get it. the latest we are getting on those pictures you are seeing coming out from the north of paris is that the french forces are seeking to reach by phone reach those attackers by phone. the dialogue was open when the 2 men announced they wanted to die as martyrs. they have this one hostage. we have pictures coming in