At around 11.20am on Wednesday, two gunmen, believed to be French-Algerian brothers Said and Charif Kouachi, storm the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was among four cartoonists killed in the Paris massacre which left 12 people dead in total.
Charbonnier, known as “Charb”, was 47. He had received death threats in the past and had been under police protection.
Reports say he was in an editorial meeting with the others when two masked gunmen burst in and opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles. The gunmen reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar!” (God is great).
The left-wing magazine’s famous cartoonists went by nicknames – the others who died were called Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski.
The three flee the scene in the same car in which they arrived – a black Citroen – stopping to shoot dead another policeman on the way.
The gunmen drive to Porte de Pantin Metro station, further north in Paris, where they abandon their car and hijack another, a grey Renault Clio. They drive away heading east from the capital.
In joining the the world in morning the victims of the heinious incident, Facebook’s Founder, Mark Zuckerberg to his facebook account with the post:
A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him.
We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.
Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas. We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world.
Yet as I reflect on yesterday’s attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.
I won’t let that happen on Facebook. I’m committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence.
My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of France and the people all over the world who choose to share their views and ideas, even when that takes courage. #JeSuisCharlie.
Charlie Hebdo was launched in 1969 but folded in 1981. However it was resurrected in 1992. Its circulation was not very big.
Its offices were destroyed in a petrol bomb attack in November 2011, a day after it named the Prophet Muhammad as “editor-in-chief” for its next issue.
In an interview with the BBC, in November, 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier said that incident was an attack against freedom itself and an act by “idiot extremists” not representative of France’s Muslim population.
He said the attack showed that Charlie Hebdo was right to defy Islamists and “make their lives difficult, as much as they do ours”.
His regular illustrations for the magazine were titled “Charb doesn’t like people”.