In the end, the terrorists responsible for the massacre in which a dozen people died at the offices of Charlie Hebdo got their final wish: martyrdom. French-born brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, met their demise about 20 miles northeast of Paris in Dammartin-en-Goële in a printworks warehouse of all places, where they had taken a hostage and were cornered by French authorities. After police moved into position in apparent preparation for a siege, gunshots and explosions rang out, and in the ensuing firefight, the brothers were killed and the hostage was freed. The brothers reportedly emerged from the warehouse firing at police, at which point they were mowed down in a hail of infidel gunfire.
The third suspect in the Charlie Hebdo attack, Hamyd Mourad, 18, had turned himself in to authorities in Charleville-Mezieres near the Belgium border on Wednesday. According to a U.S. official, in 2011 Said Kouachi had traveled to Yemen, the home base of the terror group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
At the same time police carried out the assault in Dammartin-en-Goële, authorities in Paris initiated a siege in which hostages had been taken at a kosher supermarket by Amedy Coulibaly, 32, who is thought to be a close friend of the Kouachi brothers. During the supermarket raid, Coulibaly was killed, but not before four hostages had been killed inside. Coulibaly, who did not take direct part in the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, had been sought in connection with the killing of a French policewoman on Thursday. Also wanted in connection with the killing is Hayat Boumedienne, a 26 year-old woman described as Coulibaly's "companion." She appears to have slipped past police for the time being and is described as "armed and dangerous."
France's two day national nightmare began when the Kouachi brothers and Mourad stormed the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris over a series of blasphemous cartoons it had published. In that attack, 12 people were killed, including editor and cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb. The killings sparked international outcry and renewed public debate about freedom of speech and religious sensitivities. Numerous publications reprinted the controversial cartoons in solidarity. However, most mainstream media outlets in the United States and Europe have declined to do so.
Update: President Obama remarked, briefly, on the situation in France during his speech in Knoxville, Tennessee Friday afternoon: