French police confirmed a suspect in the fatal attack on Paris’ satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has surrendered, while the remaining two suspects are “on the loose, armed and dangerous.”
18-year-old Hamyd Mourad gave himself up to police in the north-eastern French commune of Charleville-Mezières.
French authorities confirmed anti-terrorism operations underway in Reims are linked to the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris.
Elite French forces had “identified and located” the attackers after an identity card was discovered in their getaway vehicle.
The operation began at 11pm in the Croix Rouge neighbourhood of Reims. Helicopters were seen circling the skies above the site of the operation.
The shooting in the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine left 12 people dead including several members of the publication’s staff.
A 42-year-old police officer from the 11th arrondissement brigade, Ahmed Merabet, was killed during the attack. He was a French Muslim.
According to Metro, by Wednesday evening local time, French law enforcement was aware of the names and birth dates of the alleged perpetrators. Metro reported one of the suspects is 34 years old, another is 32, and the third is 18.
The two men aged in their 30s, Saïd and Cherif Kouachi, are brothers and French nationals born in Paris. The 18-year-old, Hamyd Mourad, is of no fixed abode but was reportedly enrolled in a state school in Charleville-Mezières, around 80km from the city of Reims in northeast France.
Their identity cards have been circulating on social media.
Le Point reported that French police were focusing on two suspects whom the magazine described as “French-Algerian.” According to Le Point the two men returned to France from Syria last summer.
According to Le Point, in 2008, one of these men was tied to an Iraqi network in Paris that allegedly encouraged young men to join militants in Iraq. The magazine reported he was also arrested in 2005 as he attempted to travel to Damascus. In addition to the two men, Le Point said police were looking for a suspect who was born in 1996 and has no fixed address.
Charlie Hebdo drew the ire of Islamic militant groups for regularly publishing cartoons and articles that lampooned jihadists including caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, which many Muslims find offensive.
The magazine’s offices were firebombed in 2011.
Additional reporting by Pierre Bienaimé and Peter Jacobs.
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