(MorichesDaily) – As police fanned out across France in search of the hooded gunmen who attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday and killed 12 people, thousands have gathered in Paris, with many more protests planned around the world, in a show of support for the victims and freedom of speech.
French police report they have identified the three Islamist gunmen who are suspected in Wednesday’s terrorist attack at a Paris satirical magazine’s office and said one had been convicted of terrorism charges in 2008.
Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, named the suspects to the Associated Press as Frenchmen Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, in their early 30s, as well as 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, whose nationality wasn’t immediately clear.
One of the officials said they were linked to a Yemeni terrorist network.
Cherif Kouachi was convicted in 2008 of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s insurgency and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
All three remain at large.
A tactical unit was deployed in an operation about a about 90 miles from Paris in Reims, France, after the attack. Video from BFM-TV showed police dressed in white apparently taking samples inside an apartment. It was not immediately clear who lived there.
More than 5,000 people have gathered at Place de la République, a large square in the center of the French capital, with many bearing the phrase – which translates as “I am Charlie” in English.
Others used slogans such as “press freedom has no price” and “Charb mort libre” (Charb died free), a reference to the magazine’s editor Stephane Charbonnier, one of four cartoonists killed by the terrorists.
At least 20,000 people also gathered in the French cities of Lyon and Toulouse.
We stand in solidarity with the people of France in the wake of today's horrific terror attack on #CharlieHebdo, our values & our freedoms.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 7, 2015
French newspaper Le Monde stated that a protest was planned Wednesday evening in New York City at Union Square. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said there is no direct threat against New York City after the terror attack.
Since the attack, extra officers have been stationed at various locations throughout the city, including the French Consulate. Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counter Terrorism John Miller said the NYPD is taking precautions.