Timeline of events in Charlie Hebdo attack and hostage-takings

Islamic Extremism

Flowers are left with notes written in French reading “I am Charlie” and rest in peace near the fence at the French Embassy over a flower memorial in Washington, DC, January 8, 2015, in response to the the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s attack by three gunmen yesterday that took the lives of 12 people. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON

PARIS — For three days, two al-Qaida-linked brothers and an associate who seized a kosher grocery, terrorized France and shook the world. The Kouachi brothers allegedly carried out the massacre of 12 people at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, while their associate is suspected of killing a policewoman and wounding a street sweeper. On Friday, they hunkered down with hostages in separate sieges that ended in a blaze of gunfire and explosions. A chronology of the terror.


—Masked gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar!” storm the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo at noon during an editorial meeting. They head straight for the paper’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, killing him and his police bodyguard. With military-style precision, they go on to slaughter seven other journalists, a maintenance worker and a visitor.

French-newspaper-shooting-raw-video2-800x500—Making their escape in a black car, the gunmen pause to kill a Muslim police officer, shooting him in the head as he writhes on the ground.

—France raises its terror alert system to the maximum — Attack Alert — and bolsters security with thousands of extra soldiers and officers to guard media offices, places of worship, transport and other sensitive areas.

—World leaders, journalists’ groups and others around the world express horror. “This is an act of exceptional barbarism,” says French President Francois Hollande.

—French police identify three suspects: The two brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, and a suspected accomplice, 18-year-old Mourad Hamyd. A witness quotes the gunmen as saying: “You can tell the media that it’s al-Qaida in Yemen.”

—Thousands of demonstrators jam the Place de la Republique — Republic Square — near the site of the shooting to honor the victims. They wave pens and papers reading “Je suis Charlie” — “I am Charlie” — a slogan of solidarity that went viral on Twitter. Similar rallies are held in London’s Trafalgar Square as well as Madrid, Barcelona and Berlin.


Members of Sydney’s French community gather in the heart of the city to hold aloft banners reading “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) on January 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS

—Hamyd turns himself in at a police station in Charleville-Mezieres, a town in France’s eastern Champagne region.

—Heavily armed police move into the city of Reims, also in Champagne, apparently searching for the Kouachi brothers.


—Police release photos of the Kouachi brothers amid fears they will strike again. SWAT teams backed by helicopters hunt for them in the Picardie region north of Paris. Nine people, suspected members of the brothers’ entourage, are detained for questioning in several regions.

France Newspaper Attack

This photo provided by The Paris Police Prefecture Thursday, Jan.8, 2015 shows the suspects Cherif, left, and Said Kouachi in the newspaper attack along with a plea for witnesses. (AP Photo/Prefecture de Police de Paris)

—Fears of a backlash against France’s large Muslim community are heightened when grenades and gunfire hit a mosque overnight in the city of Le Mans, southwest of Paris. No one is in the building at the time and no one injured.

—An assailant opens fire on a police officer in a pre-dawn shooting on the southern edge of Paris, killing her and injuring a nearby street sweeper. The suspect is identified as Amedy Coulibaly.

—Police swarm a gas station in the northern Aisne region where the Kouachi brothers are reportedly spotted.

Paris shooting Avia gas station in Villers-Cotterets

A police cordon is seen at an Avia gas station in Villers-Cotterets, north-east of Paris, on January 8, 2015, where the two armed suspects from the attack on French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo were spotted in a gray Clio. French security forces deployed on January 8 in a northern town where two brothers suspected of having gunned down 12 people in an Islamist attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo abandoned their car, a police source said. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS BECKER

—At noon, bells ring out and Paris public transport stands still as France marks a moment of silence to honor the victims.

—Britain increases security at ports and border points. Authorities put more than 88,000 security forces on the streets of France.

—Four leading French imams and the Vatican issue a joint statement denouncing the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

—In a rare public speech, Britain’s top domestic spy chief, MI5 director-general Andrew Parker, calls the Paris attack “a terrible reminder” that some “wish us harm.”

—The lights of the Eiffel Tower go out in tribute to the dead.

FRIDAY, Jan. 9.

—Security official says Kouachi brothers are on the move after stealing a Peugeot northeast of Paris.

—French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says an operation is underway to detain the brothers in Dammartin-en-Goele, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Paris.

France Newspaper Attack

An armed police officer stands on the roof of a building in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, where the two brothers suspected in a deadly terror attack were cornered, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Two sets of attackers seized hostages and locked down hundreds of French security forces around the capital on Friday, sending the city into fear and turmoil for a third day in a series of linked attacks that began with the deadly newspaper terror attack that left 12 people dead. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

—The brothers are cornered with a hostage inside a printing house. Security forces backed by a convoy of ambulances stream into the small industrial town. Helicopters hover above. Schools go into lockdown and town residents are told to stay inside their houses.

—”They said they want to die as martyrs,” local lawmaker Yves Albarello, who was inside the police command post, tells French television.

—A gunman takes hostages at a kosher grocery on the eastern edge of Paris, wounding several people. Police say the hostage-taker is armed with an automatic rifle and there are multiple hostages and wounded.

France Market Attack

A security officer directs released hostages after they stormed a kosher market to end a hostage situation, Paris, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Explosions and gunshots were heard as police forces stormed a kosher grocery in Paris where a gunman was holding at least five people hostage. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

—A police official identifies the gunman as Coulibaly. Police release his photo and that of a suspected female accomplice, Hayat Boumddiene, calling them “armed and dangerous.”

Hayat Boumeddiene (L) and Amedy Coulibaly (R),

This combination of images released on January 9, 2015 by the French police shows Hayat Boumeddiene (L) and Amedy Coulibaly (R), suspected of being involved in the killing of a policewoman in Montrouge on January 8. Coulibaly is also suspected to have taken a hostage at a kosher grocery store on January 9, 2015. A police source told AFP Coulibaly was linked to two brothers who massacred 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. Sources close to the investigation said shooting had erupted at Porte de Vincennes in the east of Paris on Friday afternoon. AFP PHOTO / FRENCH POLICE

—Police link Coulibaly to the Kouachi brothers.

—Coulibaly threatens to kill his hostages if police launch an assault on the cornered brothers, authorities say.

—Police order all shops closed in a famed Jewish neighborhood in central Paris, far from the two developing hostage crises.

—Just before 5 p.m., the Kouachi brothers came out from the printing plant with guns blazing, a French police official said. They were killed and their hostage was freed.

France Newspaper Attack

A helicopter flies over a building, where the suspects of a shooting at a Paris newspaper office were holed up, after security forces stormed it in Dammartin-en-Goele, France, Friday Jan. 9, 2015. French police stormed a printing plant north of Paris on Friday, freeing a hostage and killing two brothers linked to al-Qaida who were suspected of slaying 12 people at a Paris newspaper two days ago. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

—Minutes later, police storm the Paris kosher grocery in another eruption of gunshots and explosions. Coulibaly and at least four hostages are killed. Fifteen hostages are freed.


A screengrab taken from an AFP TV video shows a general view of members of the French police special forces launching the assault at a kosher grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris, on January 9, 2015 where at least two people were shot dead on January 9 during a hostage-taking drama at a Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris, and five people were being held, official sources told AFP. Several hostages were freed after French commandos stormed a Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris where an assailant was holed up on January 9. After several explosions, police stormed the shop in Portes de Vincennes and everal hostages exited the store shortly afterwards and were taken to safety. AFP PHOTO / AFPTV / GABRIELLE CHATELAIN

— A member of al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen says the group directed the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Timeline compiled by The Associated Press.