The Paris Terror Attack and What to Know

January 8, 2015 4:43 AM

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At about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, gunmen in black ski masks with Kalashnikov weapons stormed the offices of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo and opened fire on an editorial meeting before fleeing in one car and then hijacking and escaping in another. By the time it was over, at least 12 people were killed and another 11 injured—four critically—in the deadliest terror attack in France in recent memory. Among the dead was editor Stéphane Charbonnier, known by his pen name Charb, the revered iconoclast cartoonist who had long defended his staff’s right to free speech.

The French satirical newspaper has a long and storied history of lambasting just about all aspects of French society, including politics, pop culture and religion. Founded in 1970, the newspaper’s incendiary cartoons have given it a permanent place in French discourse, even if the newspaper has neve...

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