By BosNewsLife News Center
PARIS, FRANCE (BosNewsLife)– Three suspected Islamic militants have been killed and another was being sought Friday, January 9, after French security forces ended separate hostage standoffs around Paris where a three-day terror campaign began with a massacre at the headquarters of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
Cherif and Said Kouachi — brothers linked to terror group al-Qaida and wanted in the Charlie Hebdo shootings — were killed Friday. January 9, when police, backed by guns and explosives, raided a warehouse.
A third suspected terrorist, Amedi Coulibaly, was killed by police at a Kosher grocery in Paris where he had demanded the release of the Kouachi brothers. Police launched a manhunt for his wife and accomplice from the grocery, Hayet Boumddiene.
Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen said it directed the attack against the publication Charlie Hebdo to avenge the honor of the Prophet Mohammed, a target of the weekly’s satire.
Paris shut down a famed Jewish neighborhood amid fears that a wider cell might launch further violence.
President Francois Hollande called on his nation to remain united and alert. “The threats facing France are not finished,” he said. “We must be vigilant,” the president added — and defiant. “We are a free people who cave to no pressure.”
The worst terrorist attacks France has seen in decades killed at least 20 people, including four hostages, the three gunmen, as well as 10 Charlie Hebdo staff members and police.
It ended late Friday, January 9, with near simultaneous raids in two locations: a printing plant in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, where the Koachis were holed up with a lone hostage, and the Paris supermarket where Coulibaly was holding shoppers at gunpoint and threatened to kill them unless police let the Koachis go.
Several hostages were killed in the operation, leaving behind loves ones and a devestated Jewish community preparing for Sabbath.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) quoted French Jewish leaders as saying that the two hostage crises that transfixed France and much of the world “epitomize the problem Islamic radicalism” poses in the heart of Europe: “They’re a danger to civilized society generally, but especially to Jews. Now it’s time for the authorities to wake up to the problem and confront it.”
Despite assurances by the government to fight anti-Semitism, French Jews are facing the Islamic jihadists alone, added Chlomik Zenouda, vice president of National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.
But the attack came after a long period of increased anti-Semitic attacks in France that grew worse during last summer’s war in Gaza. Since then, synagogues have been set ablaze, Jews have been attacked and Jewish institutions have been threatened, JTA reported.
“Thousands showed up to protest the Charlie Hebdo killings – that’s nice. But they gathered at a square where just a few months ago public officials stood idly as around them calls were heard to slaughter the Jews. No one came out to protest that – no one but the Jews,” JTA quoted Zenouda, referring to the perceived inflammatory rhetoric at Gaza War protests held last summer at Place de la Republique.
After the Charlie Hebdo killings, Jewish community institutions went on maximum alert.
“But it wasn’t enough to thwart Friday’s hostage taking,”JTA commented.
Several churches, ranging from the Catholic Church to the Seventh-day Adventists have also condemned the Charlie Hebdo related attacks. Pope Francis prayed for victims and the attackers this week, while the Seventh-day Adventists were among those expressing condolences to France.