The editor of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine targeted in Tuesday’s terror attack in paris that left 12 dead, was on a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” list published in the English-language al-Qaeda magazine Inspire. Editor Stéphane Charbonnier was among those killed in the massacre by heavily armed gunmen, who witnesses say called out specific names of people who worked in the Charlie Hebdo offices before killing them.
Contrary to earlier reports, which said that suspected killers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, had been arrested, the two chief suspects remained on the loose and, police believe, well-armed and capable of inflicting further violence.
With the alleged killers still at large Thursday morning, investigators remain in the dark about what might have gone into the planning and motivation for the horrific attack, but the list published in the May 2013 issue of Inspire could provide at least a clue — as well as a warning for potential targets of future attacks.
The list includes photos of nine individuals in the form of a Western-movie style “Wanted” poster, under the headline, “Wanted Dead Or Alive For Crimes Against Islam,” along with the slogan, “A Bullet A Day Keeps The Infidels Away.”
Stéphane Charbonnier is one of the persons pictured on the mocked-up poster.
While terrorism analysts have cautioned against taking Inspire Magazine too seriously, saying that the magazine appears designed primarily to attract media attention and that the media has often been all-too-willing to comply, the apparent hit list may provide at least some insight into the thinking behind the Paris Charlie Hebdo attack.
The magazine is published intermittently, apparently by Al-Qaeda members in Yemen.
As the gunmen fled from the scene of Wednesday’s massacre, one reportedly yelled to a witness that Al-Qaeda in Yemen should get credit for the attack.
Inspire Magazine was first published in the United States by Samir Khan, a naturalized citizen then living with his parents in North Carolina. Khan soon relocated to Yemen and continued to publish Inspire under the supervision of another American Al-Qaeda member, Anwar Alwaki.
Both Khan and Alwaki have since been killed by United States drone attacks, but the magazine continues to publish.
After his arrest, accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedy told police that Inspire gave him, and his brother Tamerlan who was killed in a shootout with police, the idea for their homemade bombs.
Along with the Charlie Hebdo editor, the Inspire Magazine hit list includes author Salman Rushdie, radical anti-Islam preacher Terry Jones, Morris Sadek who produced the anti-Islam online film Innocence of Muslims, and two Dutch cartoonists who had already survived assassination attempts after publishing satirical drawings of the Prophet Mohammed.