The manhunt continues
Thousands of French police officers are going door-to-door in search of two suspects wanted for the terrorist killings at Charlie Hebdo. Said Kouachi, 34, and Chérif Kouachi, 32, are still at large, and the manhunt has spread past the outskirts of Paris and into surrounding areas.
From USA Today:
Prime Minister Manuel Valls put the Picardy region, which stretches to the English Channel, on the highest alert level, on par with the alert in effect for the entire Ile-de-France region that includes Paris.
France’s Interior Ministry said 88,000 people have been deployed in the massive manhunt for Said Kouachi, 34, and Cherif Kouachi, 32, who are suspected of killing 12 people in the assault on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
“There are lots of policemen. I can see a huge police car,” he tells Sky News. “They are asking people ‘have you seen anybody?’ They have big guns with them. The forest is bigger than Paris — it is very big and very wide.”
ABC News is maintaining a live blog of down-to-the-minute updates from the investigation and manhunt. Things in the village of Longpont have heated up in the past hour:
Some residents in the village of Longpont have heard that police believe that the gunmen have abandoned the car they stole in Paris and are on foot, potentially in the forest next to Longpont, which is the area of focus this evening.
Residents in the village were not evacuated but word got around pretty quickly that they should batten down the hatches. The local mayor’s brother put the word out to the local publican and he shut up shop.
Earlier, pundits speculated about how effective a ramped-up police presence is when there are so many potential targets for terrorists to hit. It’s still early in the game, but there are already calls for more intelligence and preparedness.
As the manhunt progresses, the mourning continues. Activists, cartoonists, and everyday citizens from all over the world have joined together to stand with Charlie Hebdo and against the violence that tore through Paris this week.
The thing is what the killers have done is they’ve proven the cartoonists’ point. I mean, this is the work of cowards who seem to feel their religion is too weak – it can’t take a joke. The whole point that Charlie Hebdo was trying to make is exactly this.
I mean, look, we’re talking about it now. This is exactly what Charlie Hebdo wanted. They wanted us to talk about extremism and its effect on free speech and it worked.
It’s something very difficult to stomach when cowards like that decide to try and get some kind of power by walking in and shooting clowns.
We’ll keep posting updates as they come available.