President Obama “strongly condemned” the terrorist attack on the offices of a satirical magazine in Paris, saying they’re reaching out to French officials to help as the gunmen are on the loose.
“I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people,” Obama said.
Two police officers were among the dead.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time,” Obama continued. “France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended.”
“France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.”
Obama is heading to Detroit today to “deliver remarks at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant to highlight the workers in the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector now that the auto rescue has been completed, and the decision to save the auto industry and the over one million jobs that went with it,” according to the White House. From there, he’ll head to Phoenix.
French President Francois Hollande said that authorities had thwarted a number of other attacks in recent weeks.
Hollande personally went to the scene of the attack soon after the gunmen fled.
“France is today in shock, in front of a terrorist attack,” Hollande said. “This newspaper was threatened several times in the past. We need to show that we are a united country. We have to be firm, we have to be strong.”
“We are at a very difficult moment. Several terrorist attacks have been impeded during the previous weeks. We are threatened because we are a country of freedom.”
British Prime David Cameron tweeted, “The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.”
“This abominable act is not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and their security. It is also an attack on freedom of speech and the press, core elements of our free democratic culture,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
In September, Algerian terrorists loyal to ISIS beheaded a French mountain climber.
The murder of Hervé Gourdel came just days after France officially began referring to ISIS as Daesh, a loose Arabic acronym with derogatory dual meanings.
Both in his statement and in his Wednesday afternoon address at the UN Security Council, Hollande continued calling them Daesh.
“My determination is absolute, and this act of aggression only strengthens it. We will continue to fight terrorism wherever it may be, and in particular the group we call Daesh, which sows death in Iraq, and Syria, which pursues civilian populations, persecutes religious minorities, rapes and decapitates. Yes, it is this group that France is mobilized against, and which the Iraqi authorities called on us to oppose,” he said.
“I am calling for all of us, for our entire community to stand united beyond our differences, beyond our sensibilities and our convictions, because the most vital matters are at stake,” Hollande continued then. “France will not give in to terrorism, France will never give in to terrorism, because it is its duty and, even more important, because its honor depends on it.”