NPR logo The Latest On Paris Attack: Manhunt Continues; Brothers Were On No-Fly List

International

The Latest On Paris Attack: Manhunt Continues; Brothers Were On No-Fly List

  • As a tribute for the victims of Wednesday's attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo the lights of the Eiffel Tower were turned off for five minutes at 8 p.m. local time on Thursday. French authorities are searching for two brothers suspected in the attack.
    Hide caption
    As a tribute for the victims of Wednesday's attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo the lights of the Eiffel Tower were turned off for five minutes at 8 p.m. local time on Thursday. French authorities are searching for two brothers suspected in the attack.
    Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images
  • A man lights a candle next to a picture of French cartoonist Bernard "Tignous" Verlhac during a rally at Republic Square in Paris on Thursday. The cartoonist was one of 12 people killed in an attack Wednesday on the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
    Hide caption
    A man lights a candle next to a picture of French cartoonist Bernard "Tignous" Verlhac during a rally at Republic Square in Paris on Thursday. The cartoonist was one of 12 people killed in an attack Wednesday on the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
    Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Image
  • French soldiers patrol near the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris.
    Hide caption
    French soldiers patrol near the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris.
    Thibault Camus/AP
  • Authorities conduct a house-to-house search in Longpont, northeast of Paris. French anti-terrorism police converged on the area after the two suspects were spotted at a gas station in nearby Villers-Cotterets.
    Hide caption
    Authorities conduct a house-to-house search in Longpont, northeast of Paris. French anti-terrorism police converged on the area after the two suspects were spotted at a gas station in nearby Villers-Cotterets.
    Pascal Rossignol/Reuters /Landov
  • People gather at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris during a minute of silence for the victims of the attack.
    Hide caption
    People gather at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris during a minute of silence for the victims of the attack.
    Jacky Naegelen/Reuters/Landov
  • French President Francois Hollande (center) stands with French officials to observe a minute of silence at Paris Prefecture.
    Hide caption
    French President Francois Hollande (center) stands with French officials to observe a minute of silence at Paris Prefecture.
    Remy de la Mauviniere/Pool/AP
  • People hold signs reading "I am Charlie" during the moment of silence at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Hide caption
    People hold signs reading "I am Charlie" during the moment of silence at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
    Matthieu Alexandre/AFP/Getty Images
  • A police officer in London walks past a wall covered with sympathy messages at the French Embassy.
    Hide caption
    A police officer in London walks past a wall covered with sympathy messages at the French Embassy.
    Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
  • People gather in New York City's Union Square in memory of the victims.
    Hide caption
    People gather in New York City's Union Square in memory of the victims.
    Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
  • People hold up pens during a vigil in London's Trafalgar Square.
    Hide caption
    People hold up pens during a vigil in London's Trafalgar Square.
    Rob Stothard/Getty Images
  • People gather in front of City Hall in Rennes, western France, in a show of respect for victims.
    Hide caption
    People gather in front of City Hall in Rennes, western France, in a show of respect for victims.
    Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images
  • People light candles during a vigil at the Place de la Republique in Paris.
    Hide caption
    People light candles during a vigil at the Place de la Republique in Paris.
    Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
  • Forensic experts examine a car believed to have been used as an escape vehicle by the assailants.
    Hide caption
    Forensic experts examine a car believed to have been used as an escape vehicle by the assailants.
    AP
  • An injured person is evacuated outside the office Wednesday. In 2011, Charlie Hebdo was the target of a firebomb attack after it printed a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad.
    Hide caption
    An injured person is evacuated outside the office Wednesday. In 2011, Charlie Hebdo was the target of a firebomb attack after it printed a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad.
    Thibault Camus/AP

1 of 14

View slideshow i

French authorities are still on the hunt for two brothers suspected in an attack against the headquarters of a satirical magazine in Paris that left 12 people dead.

The two chief suspects, named as Said and Chérif Kouachi, 34 and 32, remain at large. Investigators believe Said Kouachi traveled to Yemen in 2011 to receive weapons training with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, citing U.S. officials who've been briefed on the case.

Both of the brothers have been on the U.S. no-fly list for years, U.S. officials tell NPR.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports that the French capital is on its highest alert level, and 800 soldiers and riot police have been called on to guard the city. Schoolchildren, Eleanor said, are being kept inside for recess.

To add to the tension, there was a shooting on Paris' southern edge that killed a police officer and wounded a street sweeper. Bernard Cazeneuve, France's Interior Minister, said those shootings had not been linked to the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Overnight, one of the three suspects, identified by French media as 18-year-old Mourad Hamyd, was reported to have turned himself in.

Cazeneuve said nine people had been detained in connection to the attack.

Local officials say mosques were targeted across the country late Wednesday and early today. There were no reports of injuries, and it's unclear if they are linked to the attack on Charlie Hebdo. But Cazeneuve said the country would not tolerate any attacks on places of worship.

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported early may turn out to be inaccurate. We'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time. Refresh this page for the latest.

Update at 5:55 p.m. ET. Suspects Were On U.S. No-Fly List

NPR has confirmed that both Cherif and Said Kouachi have been on the U.S. no-fly list for years. They're also in the central U.S. database of people who pose a known or potential terrorist threat, worldwide: the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET. Eiffel Tower Goes Dark

In honor of the victims of Wednesday's attack, the Eiffel Tower turned off its lights. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, tweeted a series of images showing the famous landmark going dark.

Update at 1:03 p.m. ET. No Link:

Bernard Cazeneuve, France's Interior Minister, said authorities had not found a link between today's shootings and the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Cazeneuve also said:

— Police found Said Kouachi's ID in a car used by the men to get away. As soon as they learned that name, police launched a manhunt and searched the home of the Kouachi brothers.

— Nine people are presently in custody in connection with the attack.

— Two people who looked like suspects were seen in Villers-Cotterêts, where police launched an intense search near a gas station.

— Police have heard from more than 90 witnesses and are reviewing Internet use and surveillance to try to find the two men.

— Cazeneuve said Said Kouachi had never been accused or convicted of a crime like his brother but had surfaced at the "periphery of some investigations."

— Cazeneuve described Chérif Kouachi as "violently anti-Semitic."

Update at 12:36 p.m. ET. Dusk In Paris:

The sun has now set in Paris, reporter Lauren Frayer tells our Newscast unit.

She's at the Place de la République, where she says for the second night in a row people are streaming in for an impromptu vigil.

Lauren reports that the city only came to a halt at noon today for a moment of silence. But even though there is man hunt ongoing, Parisians have gone about their business: shops and restaurants are open and the metro is running.

Asteris Masouras, a freelance journalist in Paris, has been tweeting from the scene — pictures of demonstrators carrying posters that read Je Suis Charlie and others leaving candles at the foot of the statue in the center of the square.

Masouras also tweeted a video that shows the crowd whispering La Marseillaise, France's national anthem.

Update at 12:05 p.m. ET. 88,000 Personnel Deployed:

France's Interior Ministry says that more than 88,000 personnel have deployed across France to help with security after the attacks.

In the Paris district alone, 9,650 personnel were deployed, including more than 1,000 military personnel.

Update at 10:16 a.m. ET. The Younger Suspect's Name:

There is some variance in the way the name of the third suspect in this case is being reported. For now, based on reporting by the AFP and other French outlets who have spoken to classmates, we will call the suspect Mourad Hamyd.

Earlier, we had named him as Hamyd Mourad.

Update at 9:44 a.m. ET. 'Stupidity Will Not Win':

Charlie Hebdo will publish next week, Patrick Pelloux, a columnist, tells AFP.

The wire service reports:

" 'It's very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win,' he said.

"He added that the publication would have to be put together outside Charlie Hebdo's headquarters which were not accessible following the massacre."

Update at 7:19 a.m. ET. Not Linking Suspects To Terrorist Groups:

Counterterrorism officials have been careful not to link the two main suspects to terrorist groups, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston tells our Newscast Unit.

One of the men, Chérif Kouachi, was convicted on terrorism charges in 2008. He served 18 months for helping to funnel fighters from France to Iraq.

What's unclear, said Dina, is what happened to Kouachi after that. It's unclear whether he has ever traveled to Syria and it's unclear whether he has developed links to terrorist groups — including the Islamic State — since 2008.

Judging by the shot patterns left on a police cruiser yesterday, what is clear is that the two suspects were very comfortable using high-powered weapons. It's likely, Dina said, that they received some military training. The question is where.

Update at 6:44 a.m. ET. Roads Shut Down:

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports that police have shut down all roads in and out of Paris.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.