Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 7, 2015 7:00am-9:01am EST

7:00 am
>> good morning, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. erica pitzi in for stephanie sy. >> gunman broke into a satirical magazine and opened fire. it has been in the center of a controversy in the past. our sister station is tracking the story.
7:01 am
we're going to rejoin their coverage now and see what is going on on the ground. >> they describe a series of cells, a few weeks ago that there was a major operation a number of arrests carried out as part of a police operation to dismantle what they described as a network of jihadi cells. the authorities in france, like elsewhere in europe and the west have really raised the alert that we have seen in recent times, a lot of violent attacks carried out by groups affiliating themselves to isil, groups who up until now mostly have concentrated their attacks in the region of the middle east. we saw a day ago an attack in istanbul. there is no way to say whether
7:02 am
these were linked, even in inspiration, but the french said we cannot sitcom place sent and assume we are far away from the danger the danger can come to us. >> thank you for that. we'll leave it there for now. we can cross to agnes who is a french journalist and political commentator who joins me now on the line from paris. i just want your take on what's just happened within the last hour here on this attack on the headquarters. >> it's a shock even though a lot of people in france wondered if an attack of this magnitude would strike. we don't know yet.
7:03 am
we should mention we don't know it was a terrorist attack. it looks like one. the president has just been there and said a few dramatic words. if proven a terrorist attack, it would be actually the most lethal one since 1945, so we know that the prime minister has raised the security alert to its max mum in france in news rooms and newspapers under protection, police protection. >> it's interesting you say that but there wasn't much police protection there a little earlier. this is not the first time. >> there was some --
7:04 am
>> that they have been attacked. you said it's not a question of if it was attacked. should they have reined in editorials? >> and apologizing for taking aim at everybody. the hypocrisy of the political class and everyone, so, eat you're in a democracy or you're not, so you can argue that very often, they are extremely uncouth, even vulgar. you don't have to buy the
7:05 am
newspaper if you don't like it. so they certainly don't have to apologize for anything and what is really -- >> as you say you think they shouldn't apologize for anything. what's really at stake here in your opinion i guess is the freedom of speech, we ever is very fortunate france. >> well yes. the thing is, you can in a democracy, you can laugh at everything and again as a citizen, you don't have to buy the satirical newspapers, there are lots of them in the world. charlie hebe dough is not my cup of
7:06 am
tea, i find them gross sometimes, but they should be available. the communists have their own newspapers should they apologize for the millions of victims of stalin, across the western world are are face ago new threat, operations that can be attacked by anyone with
7:07 am
weapons. that's what democracy has to tackle and it's extremely difficult, of course, to manage to thwart all the attacks. >> thank you so much for being with us, french journalist and political commentator speaking to us from paris. the french president spoke just a short time ago when he arrived at the scene. this is what he had to say: >> there was an extremely barbaric act committed here in paris against a newspaper a newspaper, in other words expression of freedom against journalists who have always wanted to show they could here in france defend their ideas and to have their freedom that the republic protects. journalists and police are that brutally assassinated. >> that was the french president
7:08 am
speaking about the latest shooting in paris. an attack has been made on the headquarters of a satirical weekly magazine charlie hebdo. 11 died in that attack, including two police officers. a correspondent jacki roland told that you say the two attackers managed to escape the scene in a stolen vehicle. the french president has declared that the country is on its highest terror alert. he is of course going to now meet with his security cabinet to see what the government's next move is going to be. let's go back to jacki now. just what would be the government's next move? >> clearly, there is an absolute priority at the moment to apprehend the two attackers. we're told that there were two individuals, dressed in black wearing masks over their faces
7:09 am
who were armed with automatic weapons, including a rocket launcher who having carried out the attack in which at least 11 people were killed and four injured critically, were able to escape from the offices and from the area by highjacking a car. they abandoned the vehicle to the east of paris and goodness only knows where they are now. the president clearly said that all resores will be focused on tracking down these individuals. beyond that, we are expected to see a very much more visible security presence on the streets. already in paris, you will see armed troops at major transport places like big railway stations and also see them outside major tourist attractions like the eiffel tower. i think we'll see he a lot more armed troops now on the streets and in particular, the president said that they will be looking at ways to protect other
7:10 am
potential targets so clearly are going to be looking possibly at adding more security for media offices maybe also political parties maybe for the offices of religious organizations, who knows. it will be down to the government at that security cabinet meeting in about 50 minutes time, just under an hour to actually figure out what they're priorities are for the coming days, both in terms of catching the perpetrators and whatever accomplices they might have had and also in terms of heightening security for other potential targets of whoever was behind this. >> it's still too early to tell who could have been behind that attack but just to quote the french president who spoke just a short time ago, he said that there's been an extremely barbaric act committed in paris against a newspaper, in other words, expression of freedom and this is what is at stake isn't it the fact that freedom of
7:11 am
speech is at stake here. >> very much so, yes. i mean, there's always a tightrope to tread in society between respect for people's religious or whatever beliefs and the freedom of expression. france is a country a republic which is very much founded upon the principle of freedom the principle that liberty and the fact that one should have freedom of speech and expression is something very much valid and defended here. certainly while many people might consider it shocking and in poor taste and i should stress it's not only the islamic community which has targeted, the front cover of chairly hebdo in the christmas cover a picture
7:12 am
of the virgin mary giving birth to jesus christ. they push the values of taste. while many find the magazine vulgar or gross, you would find a few people in france that would approve of censoring because of where it might lead he. >> has it ever poppied for publications? does it think it goes too far
7:13 am
>> they are targeting the boundaries chipping away at what is being acceptable, permissible or whatever. certainly they have never apologized because they don't believe they have anything to apologize for. at the moment our main concern is the health and safety of the journalists. we know there are 11 dead. we understand two of those are police officers. we're assuming that the others will be employees of the magazine. the question of apologizing at the moment, i don't think charlie hebdo are probably the ones they think they have anything to apologize after this attack which has been described by the president as extremely barbaric. >> we're going to leave it there for just for now. let's just recap what's happened
7:14 am
in the last you're. at least 11 people have been killed in the attack on a french magazine, charlie hebdo known for pushing boundaries, pushing ideas and societal forms. the magazine has in the past been accused of publishing controversial cartoons of the prophet muhammed. we also know as i mentioned before at least 11 people have died in that attack, including two police officers. the attackers are said to be two men dressed all in black, armed with automatic machine guns and a rocket launcher. we're being told that the two men managed to escape in a stolen vehicle and headed east of the city. the french president was at the scene just a few minutes ago.
7:15 am
he described the attack as barbaric, and an attack on freedom of speech. he has said france is now at its highest alert and he is now meeting with the security cabinet. let's go to london. what do you think would be the next move for the security cabinet in france? >> well, as jack see said, i think there are two things, since it's still a live incident and the gunmen add large they need to first close that down and try to make the situation safe. i think then they'll be trying to find out if there was any sort of intelligence that this attack might have been planned who might have been behind it
7:16 am
and as jacki was saying earlier since it does appear to have been an extremely well executed attack in its own terms there are pictures circulating on twitter of two gunman standing outside their car pointing their guns at a police car. it does seem to have been the case that they were very well organized. i think the authorities in france are going to have to find out exactly what sort of organization was behind this. i dare say there will be in sorts with other agencies across europe and looking at cases like twitter and the internet to figure out what they missed. in britain the authorities will have been on high alert to guard against this sort of thing and clearly missed this. one of the things they're going to have to work out is exactly why. just very quickly a couple of other things to fill in the
7:17 am
holes on what was said, the guardian had video taken across from the office, where you can hear shots fired and people shouting god is great in arabic. both the british prime minister david cameron and his foreign secretary have expressed solidarity with the french, standing up for freedom of expression for the press. past what's happening in france, here and other countries they'll be checking their own security, as well. you now see police officers walking around with automatic weapons in their hands, because this sort of thing is expected just as much here as it is in france. they will be trying to see if all their security arrangements
7:18 am
are enforce. one of the things that's going to come out from this in paris is that france has been on high oh letter as much as anybody else but clearly missed something here, and a very big one at that. >> we're going to have to leave it there for now. lawrence speaking to us from london. let's go to an independent journalist joining us now live at the scene. stefan we're looking at live pictures. we can see a lot of security there. is that something you can confirm? >> there are literally hundreds of police forces right now the highest alert for the paris region has been put in place half an hour ago which is really exceptional. there is a lot of confusion and riot police actually trying to contain a large number of journalists that are here and the president just getting here 15 minutes ago to give a short
7:19 am
declaration in which he said that of course the country is horrified and that this is an attack on democracy and press freedom. >> you are seeing i was speaking earlier on to one of your journalist colleagues from paris and she said they should not apologize for any of its satirical publication. she said it is really not surprising as to whether it was going to be bombed or attacked, whether the headquarter was going to be talked, but when it was going to be attacked. is this something you would agree with, that at some point charlie hebdo news would have to pay for its pushing the boundaries? >> well, that's hard to say but it is true that charlie hebdo was being protected by police, according to my information but police officer there was being charged to protect the enhe transof the offices has been killed, as well. of course, danger is always there, but that's another reason
7:20 am
to be careful. that's the basis of press freedom and freedom of expression and what happened today is not only an attack on freedom of expression, but an attack on democracy. it's also the most deadly attack in the history of france, the most deadly terrorist attack, so this is really serious and it's -- yeah, people are confused and shocked because our colleagues are being killed just for doing their work. it is just horrible. >> all right, thank you. >> stefan, independent journalist live on the scene. as you can see these are the latest pictures to come out of paris in the aftermath of that attack on the charlie hebdo headquarters. you can see at least two people have been carried out on stretchers and gone into ambulances that have been waiting nearby.
7:21 am
we know that at least 11 people have been killed in that attack. french police in our saying that 12 people have been killed in the shooting that occurred just at the headquarters of the satirical magazine, charlie hebdo. i believe now the founder of a consultancy on terror risk joins us now. it is quite shocking that this attack occurred in bright daylight in the middle of the day in a very busy street in a very busy capitol city. how could this have happened? >> it happened exactly because you know that the charlie hebdo was protected, has been protected since last attack two years ago and even the head of
7:22 am
the publication has personal protection so also, this magazine was under surveillance because it was considered as a target for extremist groups, so it's very difficult to understand now what happened exactly and the way they achieved to go in the building. for a moment, there's an investigation, as you know, and while it's sure that those people have used kind of a very quick attack with a lot of preparation in advance, you know, they will check where how and when they could succeed in
7:23 am
that terrible attack. >> it's interesting too and not -- it's not just the fact that this attack was carried out in bright daylight, but this attack was done with automatic weapons, and it's said the two attackers were armed with a rocket launcher. how would they have gotten these weapons? >> it's not sure yet. police said they will have to check if it's really those two that we are talking about but obviously heavily armed that means that they have got this kind of arms, even though it's not so difficult nowadays to get those armed in the meeting that you have some networks
7:24 am
specifically in the suburb of the big cities, and the police is always searching those networks and sometimes you can here that people have been arrested for the weapon traffic so it's clear that these people were well trained for using those arms, so it is believed that it's possible those people have been trained and maybe were -- have been in maybe some area of the world where they have already used these kind of weapons. >> we can only speculate really. >> yeah. >> because it's still very early on in this story. we still do not know who is behind this attack on this
7:25 am
satirical magazine known for pushing societal norms. there is as one correspondent said a fine line between pushing the boundaries and poor taste, as well. >> well, you know, don't believe that what charlie hebdo is writing and specifically the choice to publish a satirical picture of the prophet have been let's say -- by the publication the opinions. half the population consider it a provocation so that you create yourself your own threat when you decided to take such a risk so let's say it's not --
7:26 am
they have taken that risk and smell responsibility. >> it is all about responsibility and i guess charlie hebdo decided that they wanted to take on the responsibility, because this is not just the first time that the headquarters has been attacked. the headquarters were also fire bombed on november, 2011 after it decided to publish a cartoon of the prophet muhammed. do you think as a french citizen that perhaps they should have reined in their editorial to try to be more sensitive to cultural and religious differences? >> of course, france is not just a country we don't support any kind of idealogyic religiously
7:27 am
based threats or pressure, so of course the french population in kind of a let's say. >> 12 people now dead at the offices of charlie hebdo a satirical magazine in paris. think about mad magazine on steroids and political intense
7:28 am
gunfire reported. >> gun men wearing masks at least one rocket launcher, escaped in a car. the french president is calling it a terror attack and immediately raised its alert to the high effort level. >> on attack on the royal mounted police in canada, a hatchet attack on a police officer in new york and before that the beheading of a coworker in the midwest. we're going to take a break and rejoin our coverage right after this. this.
7:29 am
7:30 am
>> french officials have been saying there have been recent threats against the magazine in recent weeks. there are reports that the gunman were wearing masks when
7:31 am
they stormed the offices around with automatic weapons at least one rocket launcher. they escaped by highjacking a car nearby. the french president is calling it a terror attack and he immediately raised its terrorist alert to the highest level. >> we continue to track developments concerning a lot of stories including the latest on the air asia flight but want to take you now back live to paris. this is the coverage which our sister station, al jazeera english. >> we do not know he who is behind these attacks at the moment but just a day ago we saw a large rally of people who gathered in that city against islam, saying there is an islamization in germany and they are against it. we saw a rival rally in cologne that said no, that is not what
7:32 am
germany stands for. we welcome people of all colors of all religion. give us an idea of what it's like in france. is that same sort of debate happening there? >> the problem is there's a big confusion between islam and terrorism extremism. i mean, we cannot put what is going on now in paris in the context of the relation between the -- the controversial relation between europe and islam. it's not -- the problem is not here. maybe it's some political groups are using that, but still it's about extremism and not islam because there is a kind of ignorance we can say about islam
7:33 am
and we have some problems. some political people are just trying to exploit and say that there is a problem between islam and europe, between islam and democracy. you see that it's very dangerous to enter into this debate, because the real problem is extremism. it's not islam. >> we're going to have to leave it there. thank you so much for your insight, the founder of positiveries a consultancy on risk there. for those of you who may have just joined us, at least 12 people have been killed in an attack on the headquarters of the satirical weekly magazine charlie hebdo in paris.
7:34 am
we are being told that several people have been injured in that attack too, we are trying to ascertain how many people have been injured. earlier on, we did see pictures of at least two people carried out on stretchers into ambulances being ferried no doubt to the nearest hospitals. these are the live pictures coming out outside of paris lots of security there on the road. the roads to the magazine's headquarters is blocked at the moment. also we're being told that two attackers, or two people made this attack on the headquarters. the affecters were dressed from head to food in black and have been able to escape. the french penalty said france is now on terror alert.
7:35 am
this is what he had to say: >> an act of exceptional barbarism has just been committed here in paris against a newspaper a newspaper which is of course the expression of liberty and freedom against journalists, who had always wanted to show that they could work in france to defend their ideas and for having precisely this liberty and freedom that our public protects. there were also police officers here to protect them, and journalists and police officers have been killed. right at this minute, there are 11 dead people. four more are in a critical condition. we still don't have the definitive toll of all the victims, but there are 40 people now who are safe and protected. in a few hours, we will know the exact toll. i've ordered that a meeting be held at 2:00 this afternoon have all the responsible ministers who are directly concerned as far as protecting our country is concerned. we must make safe all places where the same sort of acts
7:36 am
could happen again by these same barbarians so have engaged a plan. there are actions that have been immediately launched following this aggression to find the people who did this. they will be pursued for as long as is necessary in order that they be arrested and put in front of a court and a judge so they can be prosecuted. today, france has suffered a shock, a shock following an attack that is terrorists. there is no doubt on a newspaper and which had been protected because of that. in these moments, it's important to be in one block to show that we are a united country that we know how to react in a way that is needed, that means with firmness but always with the interest of the nation paramount. that is how i will react now and will be my will right through the next days and weeks. i will have to speak to the french people again soon,
7:37 am
because i have said we are now in an extremely difficult moment. several terrorist attacks have been foiled in the last weeks. we knew that we were threatened like other countries around the world. we are threatened because we are a country of freedom, and because of that, we will control these threats and punish the aggressors. no one should think that they can act in france against the principle of the states and attack the spirit of the republic. that is to say a newspaper. i think today of the victims, 11 people are dead, four are between life and death. we are here and we will have in our hearts to find those who carried out this attack and we call for national unity. >> the french president speaking at the scene of the attack shortly after the attack occurred on the headquarters of the magazine, charlie hebdo. these are live pictures coming out of paris as you can see heavy security coming outside
7:38 am
the headquarters. we can now show you a you tube video that's just come out. we're not quite sure where this video is being filmed from, but you can see it's rather shaky. i'm told that this was filmed during the shootout between the attackers and police officers outside the headquarters of charlie hebdo. we do know that at least two police officers were among the 12 people who died in this attack that occurred at least an hour and a half ago. as i said now heavy security presence at the scene. also on the scene now is stefan, an independent journalist, joining us on the line. stefan just describe to us what's happening there right now. >> well, it's huge confusion there are tens of policemen also
7:39 am
now on the roof. there's a lot of confusion and it's incredible what happened. it was definitely a terror attack. i just received information that the chief of the magazine has been killed. it's an attack on democracy an attack of the freedom of press. there are journalists around here and on their faces, you can read their shock their horror, basically. we are all -- yeah, we don't really know how to react because these are our colleagues that have been killed. 12 died, four more are seriously injured. it's a mess. >> stefan, we were looking there at a you tube clip of what had happened during the shootout between the attackers and the police who lad gathered there. we know that at least two police officers were killed in the shootout. it has been described in some
7:40 am
circles that -- now we're not going to show you owe but one of the police officers did die in this attack. we're just going to freeze the frame right there. we do know that he died in that attack. it has been described as an execution, stefan, the way he died the way he was shot. just give us an idea of what the reaction is like in paris at the moment to this shocking incident. >> yeah, we don't know how to react. there are tens of journalists here and i can read their faces. most of them are used to hard news but this is something completely different. this is an attack on the press the media in its home. i don't know, we're in shock. that's all i can say. i'm here as a journalist, i have to do my work, but can't deny the fact that i'm under the -- i
7:41 am
am in shock, as well. >> a lot of people have said that this is not just an attack on france, this is an attack on freedom of speech, as well, as you said and you are shocked and many of your journalist colleagues are, as well. has there been any other attacks in the past that you can remember that have targeted journalists in france? >> there was an attack with molotov cocktails as well, but this is an unprecedented sale. the magazine was being protected for four years by placing police officers in front of the entrance of the head office, but apparently that was not enough, unfortunately and the attackers today just killed the police to enter the offices of the magazine and started shooting
7:42 am
around like it was an execution. they shot at police cars. i just saw a police car completely destroyed by bullets. this was a massacre and a very professional attack. it must have been planned for a very long time and the police have no trail of the ones who are responsible for this attack right now. >> we also know that the attackers managed to escape in a stolen vehicle. has there been anymore development on that as to perhaps where their whereabouts are? >> no, not at all. apparently they fled in a car and that's according to the information i now have. in the street itself, the police are still tracking this car. i'm sure all the police in france will be hunting them down and as a matter of fact, about one hour ago the terrorist alert in the paris region has
7:43 am
been put to the highest level which has never been done before. this is an unprecedented attack and i think the security measures will be huge and maybe people fear more attacks. >> indeed, because we are told that these attackers are armed and they've managed to escape. the question really is in a city like paris however can speaking. will they be able to go underground? >> it's a huge city, of course and they could have parked cars to run away at several locations. it's a big city, but the police will -- france has a long experience with chasing terrorists. it's a very professional police force. i'm sure they are doing everything right now you that they can to attack -- to get the killers. >> all right stefan, keeping us up to date on the latest on the
7:44 am
scene there in paris on that attack on the charlie hebdo headquarters. let's now recap on what's happened in the last hour and a half so far. gunmen have attacked the office of the french satirical magazine charlie hebdo. french officials say 12 have been killed and 10 others injured. the french president has called it a barbaric attack. he is meeting with his security cabinet. he also said several terrorist attacks have been foiled in the past few weeks. the paris prosecutor's office has already opened an investigation into the attack. >> the anti terrorism section of the paris prosecutor's office has opened a file to look at the background of the attackers the type of attacker, any link to terrorism and any link to criminal activity.
7:45 am
the paris prosecutor has also engaged other investigative bodies including anti terror section of the die bun national, the judicial police and secretary general of the interior ministry. >> a french political commentator and journalist joins us on the phone from paris. thank you so much for being with us. before we go into the political implications of this, you as a french citizen give us an idea of what's going through your mind right now. how you are feeling about this attack? >> well, there is a great sense of shock of what happened.
7:46 am
they managed to escape. this is against democracy and everything it stands for. >> tell us now the political implications. let's go into the political implications of this particular attack. what we know about charlie hebdo is it is a magazine that has pushed societal boundaries, the way people think about a lot of things. take us through some of the more controversial publications that chicagocharlie hebdo has published.
7:47 am
they published -- perceived as an attack against the prophet muhammad. charlie hebdo is not a
7:48 am
publication targeted through them the prophet muhammed. >> if you could just stay on the line for us, i'm they would we have the footage of that particular incident from 2011, november 2 when the charlie hebdo headquarters was fire bombed. this was the in fact the aftermath, as you can see of that fire bomb of november 2 of 2011. this was after charlie hebdo had published a cartoon of prophet mohammed. it's very interesting too, that you say that it's almost the frenchness of being french identity's being challenged here isn't it? we know that the national motto
7:49 am
is france is liberty and fraternity. do you feel that your french identity and french freedom is being challenged here by this attack. >> we are targeted because we are a country of freedom. more importantly the french president called the attackers barbarians.
7:50 am
it's actually our freedom the freedom of the whole world if you can't express an opinion. you have the right -- >> at the same time, i understand that freedom of speech is very important to france and as you've just been explaining there, it is a threat to freedom to social freedom in france but some would say with freedom comes responsibility, perhaps there is the need to tow
7:51 am
the fine line, to be more sensitive to people's religion and cultures. >> you are absolutely right. it is not an attack by islam but in the name of islam by some
7:52 am
terrorist and a message to be sent to ordinary french citizens to tell them we know that these attacks are not in your name and -- we must be uniting altogether to fight any form of ideology that could threaten our way of living together. people can be fubbed by a caricature of muhammed or a caricature of any other people. we have to understand this.
7:53 am
a call for national unity. >> thank you so much for expressing your opinions. flench political commentator and journalist speaking to us on the phone from paris. we do know that the french president spoke a short time ago at the scene. this is what he said: >> there was an extremely barbaric act committed here in paris against a newspaper a newspaper, in other words expression of free doom against journalists who have always wanted to show they could here in france defend their ideas and to have their freedom that the
7:54 am
republic protects. there are police to protect. journalists and police were brutally assassinated. >> jackie roland is standing by for us. we wanted to show the viewers of al jazeera a tweet that was sent out from the offices of charlie hebdo. this is what the tweet had to say. it says that attack taking place from two males are in the charlie hebdo offices. we have fled to the roof. this is the tweet that occurred during the attack. let's go to our correspondent standing by for us at the scene. jacki, no doubt very shocking for all of france at the moment. give us an indication of what people are saying to you right now where you are. >> it is particularly shocking,
7:55 am
because this is an attack that is very close to home, because as you can imagine i'm standing here literally at the police cordon with lots of french colleagues and we are starting to hear details now names. one thing i've heard is that the editor of charlie hebdo, one of the main core tunists a man who i've interviewed on a number of occasions, is among the dead. so people are shocked because obviously when you hear about an attack like this, often it sounds abstract, but when it's actually against colleagues in a city where you live, obviously it is particularly shocking and people at the moment are very, very subdued. yeah, it is obviously a very shocking situation. >> indeed. just stay on the line for us. i want to recap for the viewers there's been an attack in paris
7:56 am
on the headquarters of a satirical weekly magazine known as charlie hebdo. this occurred in paris. we do know that 12 people have been killed in that attack and at least 10 have been injured. we also know the attack was carried out by two attackers. jacki, earlier on, you said that these attackers managed to escape in a stolen vehicle. >> yes. this is what makes the situation all the more extraordinary and all the more alarming, the fact that the attackers were able to escape from the scene. basically they highjacked a car and were able to get out of here. they were able to get out of paris. the car was abandoned in the east of paris so the attackers could be anywhere now. they could be on the outskirts of paris or anywhere in france.
7:57 am
they are at the moment, the number one priority for the french president and his security cabinet who will be convening a meeting within the next few minutes, will be to track down those perpetrators, because clearly we're talking about two armed men -- >> i'm del walters in new york city along with erica pitzi. 7:57 east coast time. 12 people dead at charlie hebdo. among those killed, two french policemen, gunmen breaking into the offices an hour and a half ago with intense gunfire. these are some of the covers. think about mad magazine on steroids and politico. this is a sampling of those covers manufacture they have angered just about everyone, but that has been the magazine's style. >> the gunmen were armed with
7:58 am
automatic weapons and at least one rocket launcher, they escaped by hi jacking a car and hearing that officials found that car abandoned. now these gunmen are still at large. the french president calling this a terror attack, immediately raising the terror alert in the country to the highest level which has reportedly never been done before. >> that security meeting should be starting any moment now. nothing to indicate this is part of a larger coordinated pattern or that what happened in paris is going to happen here in the u.s. we have been checking with local law enforcement. there are no alerts coming out of washington or new york. we ever more to get caught up on including the airasia flight 8501 the black boxes have been found. al jazeera continues right after this break. this break.
7:59 am
8:00 am
>> an attack in paris as gunman opened fire at the office of a very controversial french magazine. 12 people are now dead. we are live on the ground as french leaders there pledge to find those responsible. good morning, welcome to al jazeera america i'm del walters. >> i'm erica pitzi. we begin this morning with breaking news. >> 12 are dead at the headquarters of that satirical
8:01 am
magazine, charlie hebdo in paris. two gunmen broke into the office. there was intense gunfire and then the men fled he. >> in the past, charlie hebdo published cartoons similar to mad magazine. a cartoon depicting the prophet muhammed sparked outrage. >> people are waking up to another attack. >> this is a massacre at a french magazine in the heart of the french capitol paris. it's a very serious story indeed, one that will have ramifications for sometime to come. charlie hebdo is a satirical magazine. you can think of it as being a bit like mad magazine here in the united states or the british publication private eye. they attack everybody extreme right, the left, although they are a leftist magazine by
8:02 am
nature, also islam as weaver seen,ed. >> i didn't feel have come under their pence. the french president upped the countries level to the highest it possibly can be. he said this was an extremely
8:03 am
barbaric act. >> journalists and police were brutally assassinated. >> the international reaction continues, even though this attack only happened within the last two hours. the british prime minister, david cameron also said that the attack was barbaric and press freedom must be defended. >> while details are still unclear, i know that this house acknowledge country stands united with the french people in our opposition to all forms of terrorism and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy and these people will never be able to take us off those values. >> one of the many reasons why this story will continue to dominate the headlines at least for the rest of the day and probably a large part of the week is that we are told according to the french authorities that the gunmen
8:04 am
involved were carrying occupant weapons, including a rocket launcher. >> thank you. >> we want to go by phone now to washington d.c., our national security contributor at aljazeera america is there j.j. green. j.j. tell us what you are making of this attack in paris today at the headquarters of charlie hebdo. >> the sources that i've spoken to in paris are talking about this in the same terms of 9/11, saying that this is the worst terror attack in the past since i think a transit attack in 1995 where a bomb was set off killing eight people. the fact that this is an attack that's essentially on this magazine which is known as you say, to essentially take issue and poke fun at a number of different religions including islam is believed to be the trigger for islamists or rather extremists who don't like the
8:05 am
magazine, but that's what the folks in paris are telling me, they believe this is a terror attack a number of people escaped the building in traffic in a car and the city is still trying to figure out where they are. >> j.j., there must be a lot of head scratching taking place across the national security apparatus in washington, after all, this was one of those so-called soft targets. how do you defend all soft targets and yet live in a democracy where we're not living in an armed encampment. >> impossible to do and the terrorists know that as well national security officials. the thing talked about in latter months and years is that we simply have to be vigilant and asking the public to be more helpful in reporting what they see. when you deal with organizations like this, that hide in the
8:06 am
shadows and work in the shadows it's absolutely impossible to have the adequate resources to predict and to foil plots they may engage in. they tried it a couple of tiles in france and have been foiled, but this is one successful and one that won't be forgotten for a long time. >> this is the chilling effect in the united states. just last week was the issue involving the movie "the interview," now we're talking about press freedom again under the mike co scope, and think about it, our journalists are still jailed in egypt. is this part of a wider attempt to suppress freedom of speech? >> i spoke to the former head of the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, a couple of weeks ago. he said there are 20,000 western passport holders fighting with
8:07 am
isil in iraq and syria many returning home and some have, coming back with different ideas about how press freedom should work and the belief that they can have a role in dealing with it. whether or not these individuals engaging in whatever took place today or taking place today in paris believe or not the same thing or were participants with these individuals in isil's fight, they clearly have an understanding that they can affect and change and perhaps even dictate the rules of engagement for journalists when it comes to certain topics. this is something that will not be settled even if these individuals are caught today because terrorists know now they can do this. >> one more question before we let you go. how concerned are u.s. officials that we should be concerned after this attack? >> extremely. this is one of those situations where authorities have been on the phone. they are going to do their usual national conference calls with their counterparts in the e.u.
8:08 am
and in france, specifically, and all over the world because what they want to know is was this a coordinated attack, was it an attack that had multiple waves and levels and who those people are and were and where did they get the intelligence and skill to do what they did considering what they did and where they did it at the headquarters of charlie hebdo. there's going to be a significant amount of hand wringing and discussion today in washington intelligence and national security community because of this, because of what it could mean for the u.s. >> j.j. green our al jazeera national security contributor joining us from washington. these are the scenes out of paris, 12 dead following an attack at a magazine in central paris. right now police there investigating france on high alert. >> let's bring in lisa stark live for us in washington. good morning to you what are we hearing this morning from the white house about today's attack in paris?
8:09 am
>> so far, we have no official reaction from the president himself. we are expecting to hear something later at least a paper state. we did hear from josh ernest this morning on television. he indicated that the white house is closely monitoring the situation in paris and senior members of the national security council have been in touch with their french count are parts and also as you can imagine the u.s. has told the french they stand by ready to offer any help any assistance that the french government may need or may want as they investigate and deal with this attack. >> do we know if the state department is ramping up security at u.s. diplomatic facilities? >> they have not evacuated the french embassy but the state department is taking stock both there and around the world to see if they need to ramp up security if evacuations are necessary. when something like this happens, the government
8:10 am
obviously is reevaluating its security posture around the world and here in the u.s. they do want to make sure this is not the beginning of some sort of a broader plot and so are taking a close look at the state department and other agencies in the u.s. as to what if anything needs to be done at this time. >> you are seeing live images out of paris approximately 6:20 this morning just after 6:00 this morning gunmen stormed the offices of charlie hebdo, opening fire. two are dead, including paris policemen. this is the coverage right now that we are following of our sister network, al jazeera english. we want to take you pack to that coverage now where their ongoing continuing coverage is taking
8:11 am
plagues. >> reinforcing security outside newspaper offices railway stations airports and outside places of worship but of course paris is a huge city, france a huge country the police can't be everywhere, so there really is a sense of anxiety here, as well, people wondering how an attack like this could happen where perpetrators traveled to the seen heavily armed unnoticed and managed to escape, as well. there is questions with intelligence and security. >> we've just had lines that have come in. a representative from the french police unit has said that the attackers left in that a waiting car and later switched to another vehicle that had been stolen. obviously, this was a plan, it seems like it was a planned attack that went rather smoothly
8:12 am
at the moment. take us through what is happening now in terms of security will there be more police officers on the streets fanning across the city, trying to keep an eye out on suspicious activity? >> yes. actually, what's happening here at the moment, at the palace is a meeting of the french security cabinet, the president and his closest and most senior officials working out really the -- working out a strategy for the coming days and hours. in terms of security, clearly there's a focus on the area around here, because we have of course some 12 dead people, 10 heavily wounded people, there are ambulances, fire engines riot police, regular police, all here on the scene.
8:13 am
also in terms of further afield across the city, the terrorist level, the alert level has now been raised to terrorist the highest possible security level. police and in fact troops on high alert. armed troops, not police now but uniformed military on the streets outside key installations, like train stations or tourist attractions like the eiffel tower. we are going to see a lot more of that now. we are going to see police, armed police protecting newspaper offices television stations, also other potential targets, so places of worship in churches or mosques or temples or 16 synagogs. also, as well as, department stores the major shops in paris, the january sales have just started in many cases, lots
8:14 am
of shoppers are outside, lots of tourists all identified as potential targets. certainly the security forces are going to be spread quite thin in paris but also across the country as a whole. >> all right we'll leave it there. we'll leave you to try to speak to some of the eyewitnesses you were talking about a little earlier on. that's jacki roland there just outside the headquarters of charlie hebdo that's the magazine that was attacked just two hours ago. we know that at least 12 people have died in that attack, including four of the magazine's cartoonists, the british prime minister david cameron has weighed in on the incident. this is what he had to say about the attack. >> mr. speaker i'm sure the whole house will want to join me in condemning the barbaric attack this morning on an office of a magazine in paris in which
8:15 am
it is report that had 10 or more people may have been killed. while details are still unclear i know that this house and this country stand united with the french people in our opposition to all forms of terrorism and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy and these people will never be able to take us off those values. >> let's go to lawrence lee standing by in london. lawrence, david cameron there weighing in on the incident there, obviously saying that britain stands with france. they both -- both countries sharing the values of freedom of speech and democracy. >> yes he isn't the only one. italy, spain germany the presidents of the european commission in various terms have all said how shocked and outraged they are by this. angela merkel made the point
8:16 am
that was an attack on the freedom of the press. the point was made democracy and liberty would always win. that perhaps the most interesting observations yet have come out of the white house, where the spokesman according to the wires here are saying senior officials at the white house have been in close touch with their counterparts in france this morning. the united states stands that ready to work closely with the french in terms of the investigation into the attack. clearly, one of the things that i think the french government is going to have to work out is whether the attackers who seem to have been extremely well organized were home-grown, to use the exexpression people use or whether they come from the outside and without predicating anything in terms of who might have been responsible for this,
8:17 am
video now exists where the attackers are heard to shout god is great in arabic and separately the prophet has been avenged, according to witnesses. i think what they're going to have to work out is whether there's any evidence in any absence of any arrest, by the way, that this is linked to this magazine's attacks on islam in the past or whether it's something else completely. just on that last point i was making there and further to what jacki's been saying, police in paris seem now to be suggesting that the gunmen not only highjacked a first car but then abandoned it and highjacked a second car elsewhere in paris. that's the police spokesman speaking to french radio. further to that, it is now reported by the french newspaper that school children in a suburb of paris have had their schools
8:18 am
evacuated. that may be nothing. it may just be a rumor but it may be that the focus of this, given that these heavily armed gunman are still at large this may not be finished yet. i'm saying this obviously speculatively, because we're waiting for further information but clearly this isn't over, the people are still at large. it may be that this moves to different areas as has been reported in france, very large buildings, train stations, super markets, schools places where lots of people are inside, are having to get much greater security while the police try to find the people who did this. >> as you say security, very heavy security across paris at the moment. the country is now on high terror alert. lawrence just for those who may have just joined us, tell us a little bit more about charlie hebdo. we know it's a controversial mag dean.
8:19 am
why the controversy around it? >> they he reward political incorrectness as their duty, it seems to me, to push the boundaries insofar as they are able to in the interests of freedom of speech. their attacks in particular against islam go back now many years, and as we've been saying, they had their offices fire bombed in 2011, when they ran what it describes a special edition by the prophet muhammed. that is another incident where it provoked furious reactions from not only muslim grooms, but french politicians saying they should keep a lid on things. their targets aren't only to do with islam and groups related to
8:20 am
al-qaeda and states like this. they ran what you would describe as scuriluos like god and jesus in sexual positions. they'll go after anybody in the interest of shocking, because they think it's their right and duty to do so, but clearly there are groups and people in a variety of different expressions and walks of life who think that they should rein it back very slightly. there's been a report this morning by associated press that islamic state isil made specific threats to the magazine and it seems to have been that's what prompted a cartoon of the isil leader, baghdadi on the
8:21 am
magazine twitter page only an hour before this attack happened. they were absolutely unrepentant about what they were doing. >> as you say, it is still too early, really, to kind of say as to who or what is behind this attack but we have been talking about the facts that this magazine was fair bombed in 2011 november 2, 2011 after it publishes controversial cartoons of the prophet mohammed, it had received attacks as you say from isil, as well. there is this debate about islamization in europe at the moment. just a day ago we saw huge rallies in dresden against what they say is the islamization of germany. we also saw a rifle ally in cologne that said germany is not that way inclined, in fact germany welcomes people of all race and culture.
8:22 am
there is this general debate about where islam fits into europe. >> there is, but there's also a debate about whether simply attacking islam again as you say, we don't know who is responsible for this, although the most cursory look at twitter would say millions of people have made their minds up. the trouble is, with things like this is that it plays potentially into the hands of people who would seek to blame islam as a religion, rather than extremist ideology for all of these problems, and that's what you're seeing in these rallies in places like dresden. you're seeing it expressed in the emergence of political groups in countries in central eastern europe from hungary to slovakia and indeed in fraction. what's going to be very
8:23 am
interesting in this specific incident is what the french leaders and how france reacts, as well. these incidents are absolutely polarizing that goes without saying. i think there will be many people who would wish to keep a lid on this and would try to explain that if this does end up being something linked to either al-qaeda or isil, then people should remember that this doesn't in any sense expression the views of 99 and a half% of islam. it's very important that islamic groups and muslim groups stand up and say so them receivers. that is what white or christian or mainstream, whatever other expression of political opinion
8:24 am
that exists in europe would want to see muslim groups saying that they don't believe that this is a way forward in what you could loosely describe as a free society. >> all right lawrence, we're going to have to leave it there for now. for those of you who may have just joined us, gunmen attacked the paris office of french satirical magazine charlie hebdo, french officials said 12 people have been killed, 10 others injured. the french president has been to the scene and called it barbaric. he is now meeting with his security cabinet and he's also raised the country's terror alert to the highest level. french tell vision channel has released this amateur are video they say was sent to them by a witness.
8:25 am
you've been watch ago video clip sent to a french television channel there of the shootout between the attackers of the magazine and police. we do know that at least two police officers were killed in that particular shootout. let's get more now from jacki roland on the scene for us. no doubt the you tube clips video clips are starting to roll in now jacki. we're not there, we're watching this and it's obviously very shocking. i've been to paris several times. i think those of us who have been there rather shocked that this can actually occur in bright daylight. >> well, this is clearly a very well planned and very well organized attack. you're right it took place in broad daylight, before mid date
8:26 am
in a very busy part of paris at a major intersection quite close to the center of the city. many people were on lunch break and a lot of shoppers out, as well so a very busy time of day. the attackers traveled to the scene of the newspaper carrying at least automatic weapons and also a rocket launcher. they were able to get to the scene of the attack without anyone seeing them. they were able to carry out the attack during which we heard they killed at least 12 people, injured four seriously and then we heard initially there was a get away car and another
8:27 am
highjacked. the driver of that vehicle was taken hostage the car highjacked. they escaped to the outskirts of france. it is an operation which involved a lot of planning and support network. we know about the two assailants but clearly they benefited from a considerable support network as well. during a meeting going on right now at the palace of the president and his security cabinet, clearly the first priority is going to be to track down and detain or at least put out of action the attackers and anyone helping them. beyond that, we're looking at the ways in which they will be implementing a higher state of security throughout the capitol and country as a whole. we're hearing that there will be reinforcements and security sent to places viewed as potential future targets. >> i'm del walters in new york, we are two hours into that
8:28 am
breaking news coverage from paris. we are following the massacre at the offices of a satirical magazine, 12 dead, two police, gunman wearing masks armed with automatic weapons and perhaps a rocket launcher. the magazine attacked, charlie hebdo is best scribbled as mad magazine onster rids and politico. they are in touch with their french counterparts. we're going to take a break and be right back with more aljazeera america news. stay with us. ith us.
8:29 am
8:30 am
>> gunman opening fire at the offices of a french magazine, 12 people now said to be dead. police are trying to find the people responsible, 10 others wounded. are going and welcome to al jazeera america. that shooting we have been following happening inside the offices of charlie hebdo in central paris. there was intense gunfire inside and outside of the building before the gunmen fled. >> the magazine is controversial and has been attacked before. it published cartoons of the prophet mohammed in 2011.
8:31 am
>> we have tracked all the developments from paris. we are learning more about the victims. >> a lot of information is coming into us now just about two hours since the attack took place. we have information from the french authorities that clarify what happened. they say at least two gunmen entered the offices of the french satirical magazine charlie hebdo and opened fire. 12 people are confirmed dead, including four cartoonists and the editor of the magazine and two police officers, five others are seriously wounded. the attackers fled the scene in a highjacked car. they then abandoned that vehicle and highjacked another vehicle in paris. they ever at this moment not been caught. the terror alert in paris has been raised to its high effort possible level. the french president said the country was in shock following what he said was a terrorist attack.
8:32 am
>> there was an extremely barbaric act committed here in paris against a newspaper. a newspaper, in other words expression of freedom against journalists who have always wanted to show that they could here in france defend their ideas and to have their freedom that the republic protects. >> international reaction has been swift particularly from the european region, david cameron saying press freedom must be defended. >> while details are still unclear, i though that this house and this country stands united with the french people in our opposition to all forms of terrorism and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy and these people will never be able to take us off that he is values. >> charlie hebdo has been the subject of violent attacks in
8:33 am
the past following publication of cartoons of the prophet mohammed with attacks in 2011. charlie hebdo is a pretty vulgar magazine in actual fact, the people that run it go after every target that they can think of. it's a magazine that has its political definition rooted on the left of french politics, but they attack islam the catholics, jews, the right wing, everybody comes in for attack via cartoons, mainly, and we are told by french authorities that at least four of the dead are very very famous cartoonists in france. i can't think of an example here in the united states where a cartoonist is quite as famous and some of these guys. they're not youngsters, some of these men are well into their 70's and 80's, these are very,
8:34 am
very famous french journalists and cartoonists. nothing official from the magazine's offices yet french media reporting names. >> regardless of whether or not this magazine was considered to be vulgar, it is an attack on free speech. >> the other thing i think which is particularly egregious which people are waking up to slowly is the fact that we are told that each of these attackers was armed with a significant weapon, but also carrying at least one rocket launcher. >> we're hearing reports that they were shouting in arabic "god it great." >> and the "the profit has been avenged." >> they do go after everybody
8:35 am
and at christmas time had cartoons showing god and jesus christ. >> still more to come. >> lisa live standing by live in washington this morning. lisa what is the white house saying now about today's attack in paris? >> we have no official statement from the president himself. obviously they are monitoring the situation closely and we fully expect we'll get something from president obama later at least a written statement from the white house. josh ernest, the white house spokesman was on television earlier this morning. he said that senior officials with the national security council are in touch with their count are parts in france, as you can imagine and he also indicated that the u.s. stands ready to help in any way. i'm sure there is already intelligence sharing going on to try to figure out who is behind this attack and whether this was an isolated attack or whether there's something broader that folks in paris and the u.s. and
8:36 am
elsewhere need to be worried about. >> is the state department ramping up security as any of our embassies? >> josh ernest said at this that point to the embassy in paris has not been evacuated but did add that the state department is assessing u.s. embassies worldwide to see if there needs to be any security enhancements. that is something that would be done automatically after an incident like this. >> what about reaction our colleagues in the media? >> we have some reaction from the committee to protect journalists based in new york city. the committee issued a statement saying this is a brazen attack on free expression in the heart of europe. it goes on to say the scale of the violence is appalling and the deputy director of the committee said journalists must stand together to show such
8:37 am
hurtous attempts to silence us will not stand so a strong statement condemning the attack as you would imagine but also going on to say that this will not silence journalists and that this is an attack on free expression, as many others have also said this morning. >> all right i'm sure we'll be hearing much more coming out of washington on this, thank you. >> more than two hours into the attack in paris, 12 dead, 10 wound said, when gunman opened fire at the offices of a controversial magazine there. we want to go live now to a columnist at the daily beast and co director of the muslims are coming a comedy documentary about breaking stereo types. he joins us by phone from new york. dean your name first came to my mind when i saw this attack, because it really hits at what you do, you try to take a very serious subject and make it something people can talk about without angering people. >> it's true, although i'll be
8:38 am
honest, we have angered many people when we made "the muslims are coming," people on the right, conservatives upset that we are trying to show muslim americans in a positive light as basically just like any other americans of different faiths. so there were always people -- >> did you get death threats? >> no, but we get angry articles written, people send you sometimes hateful emails, but that comes with the territory. that is something that does anything controversy expects. death threats, we never got that or threats of physical violence to our face, no. that's where this attack in paris is truly based on what they wrote in the magazine, an attack on freedom of expression worldwide. everyone has to stand against that. it's too much of a risk to lose freedom of expression out of fear. >> the magazine is known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to these social political
8:39 am
cartoons. what's your view on tackling muslim themes specifically in art? it depends what you mean by muslim themes. there's a lot of -- there's the idea of the prophet depicting the prophet mohammed. there's no restriction in the koran. people say that's been articulated through his followers. people who do this don't go to the koran and go oh, they can't do this, let's go kill someone. it's about a struggle for power to be honest. these people did a very, very visible attack to make a statement, to scare people, and perhaps they're connected to is d.l. is, perhaps not, we are going to know more as time goes on. if not connected to isis, sympathetic to isis.
8:40 am
>> dean, are you concerned that this attack will increase islamaphobia around the world? >> it with i will. anytime there's any attack in the world by a muslim, that's horrific. that there's a backlash against muslim communities here in america. i wrote an article for the daily beast at the end of the october but how muslims in the muslim world mock isis, not just comedians, but t.v. shows in iraq in lebanon. the palestinians in the palestinian communities have you tube television shows which have pissed off isis to no degree. a latest cartoon was mocking al baghdadi.
8:41 am
the idea between isis and the muslim world is not to sub bit to islam or die. it's submit to isis or die. them killing the editor of a magazine is a message don't mock us, or we'll kill you. with he he don't know he if it's connected to isis right now. >> we are joined live from berlin. as you watch this, i hearken back to a group called the patriot europeans against the islamization of the west. they held a demonstration in dresden drawing 18,000 people monday night. are you concerned what you see coming out of paris that islam phobia could be on the rise and taking fire in europe.
8:42 am
>> the islamic faith that just been a pretext a symbol for which people rally on the street. i say what they are rather concerned with is the discontent because it's not about islamic faith. >> upset about the german political establishment why? one of the questions seems to be germany opened its doors to full employment, seek ago lot of people from the immigrant community and as a result, those jobs are going to those people who applied. is this a fear of islam in germany or losing a job to someone who may be more qualified and looks different? this sounds like a very tentative narrative at first
8:43 am
glance. you usually get two stories repeated over and over and have very little to do with the alleged islamization of germany. the first is they seem to agree on all major issues. that there is no contentious debate any longer. i get the feeling this elite stands united against the interests of the common man though there is a common distrust in the political elite due to lack of contentious debates. secondly the german elites also open the borders they propel a very liberal -- >> mobilizes these people on the streets. >> joining us from berlin, 18,000 people taking tole streets of dresden concerning a group that says that it wants
8:44 am
reforms of the situation in europe specifically with rewards to immigrants. >> we're continue to go following the breaking news from paris, a massacre at the office of a satirical magazine, charlie hebdo. 12 are dead, two are police officers gunmen wearing masks armed with automatic weapons opened fire inside the building. france remains on high alert as the search continues for the gunmen. we are going to take a break and be right back with more aljazeera america news. stay with us.
8:45 am
8:46 am
>> we continue to watch the breaking news coming out of paris, france this morning, 12 people there dead. they were killed at the offices of a controversial french magazine, charlie hebdo. among the dead, the editor and several prominent cartoonists there. police say the gunmen fled. police are trying to locate them. >> director of reporters without borders joins us by phone.
8:47 am
your group's official reaction to today's shootings. >> so actually, it's hard to find words that i would like to say that as reporters without borders, we are all so shocked by this. we've mentioned guns in country like iraq that such nightmare become reality in the middle of paris, this is unprecedented. this is incredible. this terrorist attack marked clearly a back day in the history of france, in the history of the media and for all freedom of information. >> it used to be that journalists considered war zones to be the places where things were hazardous. we're now seeing the war zone creep into societies that aren't used to this. are you concerned now that
8:48 am
journalistic institutions could become soft targets? >> war zones are still the most dangerous areas for journalists who report and of course countries like syria iraq, libya are the deadliest places for journalists but there's many signs will show that journalists are attacked in more and more vicious ways. the increase or the explosion of kidnappings last year in syria or in ukraine show that, and now such a deadly attack in the middle of the french capitol is clearly a sign that many people, many extremists wants or obsessed by the information and that can explain this level of violent targeting in
8:49 am
journalists. >> three of our colleagues in al jazeera are still held in prison in egypt. as i watch these attacks in paris right now are you concerned what is happening on the streets are positiveries will have a chilling effect on political cartoonists and other publications as well. >> i want to say that we are so shocked. we are still thinking of the victims, these amazing courageous journalists all during their career said i will not let extremists dictate what i can say. charlie hebdo is clearly a leading satirical newspaper defending every day every week with each new issue their freedom of expression. you know, even if it's not
8:50 am
journalists attacked, killed, arrested the information continues to circulate and this freedom will never be killed. >> delphine, thank you for being with us and stay safe. we have just been told that the french president will hold a news conference at 8:00 p.m. paris time, 3:00 p.m. eastern time. we will carry that live. >> joining us now is our national security contributor here at aljazeera america j.j. green. good morning what do you make of this attack in paris today at the headquarters of charlie hebdo? >> what we're hearing right now is discussion about whether it was provocation and perhaps reaction to it moving forward, i can tell you that what national security and intelligence officials here in the u.s. and abroad are thinking about is capability. how were they able to get to this building, get into the
8:51 am
building essentially assassinate two specific cartoonists among at least 12 people leave that building, get into a waiting car get away an disappear spot fabric of paris which is one of the best pleased cities in the world. that this is the issue they are dealing with at this point. it speaks to a broader issue. al-qaeda and isil have been threatening this kind of capability for a long time and looking for reasons to he be gauge. they've gotten a reason, supposedly now and demonstrated that they still are able and capable of launching these types of attacks regardless of whatever kind of u.s. military action has been taken against them he. >> let's talk about the issue of press freedom which has been under the microscope, several journalists in jail, including three of our own who are in egypt. do you see this attack as isolated or is there a wider effort to suppress the freedom
8:52 am
of the press? >> today's incident is isolated in that it is perhaps the deadliest attack, terror attack in paris in almost 20 years but it's not isolated when you look at the volume. these kind of attacks happen almost weekly, maybe even daily in some parts of the world where you have intolerance essentially acted upon by organizations, groups or individuals, random individuals who disagree with journalists and what it is journalists are trying to do. the reality here is the time in which we live leaves less of a security barrier for organizations to engage in this kind of attack against people than there was before. technology has made terrorists more lethal and made us as citizens and individuals more assessable to them. that this is not something that's rare.
8:53 am
it's an attempt that today is stunning but not rare. >> how concerned should u.s. officials be after this attack, real quickly? >> they're very concerned. obviously they want to make sure u.s. interests are taken care of around the world but also want to know who is behind this and how did they pull this off. they've got a lot of details to figure out and then figure out is there a second wave or third wave engaged or involved in the planning and how the u.s. might factor into that. >> how long. >> two and a half hours the breaking news out of paris a massacre at the offices of its satirical magazine, charlie hebdo. 12 dead, two of them police begunmen wearing masks and armed with weapons. france is on high alert as the search continues for the gunmen.
8:54 am
we are going to take a break and be right back with more aljazeera america morning news.
8:55 am
s live. >> about two and a half hours
8:56 am
ago was an attack on the paris satirical magazine charlie hebdo. they ever cartoons of every controversial figure you can imagine. 12 dead, 10 others wounded among the dead, two french policemen. the gun men armed with automatic rifles and perhaps a rocket launchers escaped by a car or cars. they have not been apprehended. france is said to be on high alert. >> we want to turn to one of our other top stories frigid weather gripping the country. let's bring in nicole mitchell for more. >> it's january expect the cold weather. just a give a perspective of how cold it is, over half the eastern portion of the country is under an advisory because of significant cold.
8:57 am
minus nine minneapolis. the cold is sinking south ward and eastward. this morning, it is the northern part of the midwest where temperatures once you factor in the wind chill feel on your skin like over 30 below in minneapolis, minus 36 thunder bay. that's dangerous cold. all that cold air is still funneling southward so tomorrow is the coldest day dropping temperatures 20-30 degrees below average. if you head southward single digit temperatures might not sound cold in the northern tier of the country but florida with crops, that's dangerous. in the south pipes aren't insulated and could freeze overnight. lows themselves, a lot of them in the teens and single digits. wind chills, single digitses and perhaps below zero southward. besides the snow that's come
8:58 am
through, the system snow, we've been dealing with some lake effect snow, so you look at erie county totals over a foot in a couple of places this morning. this has been a brutal system. you want to say bundle up indoors as much as you can. it is deadly cold thin places. >> we continue to follow breaking news out of paris. police searching for two gunmen in an attack against a magazine there. >> 12 of dead. stay with al jazeera and we'll have much more tomorrow morning here on aljazeera america. >> that is it for us in new york i'm del walters. >> have a good morning. we'll see you right back here tomorrow at 7:00 a.m.
8:59 am
9:00 am
>> now recap of what has happened in paris in the last three hours. french officials say that 12 people have been killed in the attack on the office of the satirical magazine. french national police say they are pursuing three suspects thought to be responsible for the shooting. francois hollande has been to the scene and he has called it barbaric.