NEW: Report: Pakistani legislators condemn Charlie Hebdo over latest cover
This comes after Jordan says the cover hurts the feelings of Muslim communities
France will grant citizenship to Malian hero of the kosher supermarket siege
More than a week after the Paris terror attacks and with an investigation in full swing, the evidence points to an international conspiracy by militants to bring terror to the streets of France’s capital.
There are reports of a new accomplice, in addition to the three gunmen killed by French authorities and the widow of one, who escaped.
There’s a money trail that points to Yemen and a cache of weapons reportedly found in an apartment.
This all comes as a nation continues to mourn and Parisians flock to newsstands in support of the satirical magazine targeted by the terrorists.
Everyone seems to want a piece of history.
Three million copies of Charlie Hebdo’s first edition since the terrorist attacks flew off newsstand racks Wednesday. Another million or so went on sale Thursday.
The cover features a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed crying as he holds a sign saying “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie,” beneath the headline “All is forgiven.” This run of the magazine could reach 5 million copies.
Some have criticized the magazine’s decision to depict Mohammed, however, since this is deeply offensive to many Muslims.
The government of Jordan condemned the move Thursday, saying that continuing to publish “offensive drawings” of Mohammed would “hurt the feelings of the Muslim communities everywhere.”
This irresponsible act “does not represent the freedom of expression, which is based on the foundation of the responsibility and the respect of religions,” its statement added.
The Pope gives his opinion
Freedom of expression is a right, but there are limits when it comes to insulting faiths, Pope Francis told reporters Thursday, referring to events surrounding the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” Francis said on a flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to the Philippines.
Likewise, he said, people have religious liberty, but “one can’t kill in the name of God.” He said this after a reporter asked him about religious liberty and freedom of expression. Francis noted that the reporter was French, and he framed his answer with the Paris attacks: “You are French? Let’s (reference) Paris, let’s speak clearly.”
Report: Pakistani legislators condemn caricature
Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the publication of a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed by Charlie Hebdo, Pakistan’s Dawn News reported.
The resolution also calls on the European Union, the United Nations community and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation take steps to prevent the publishing of such material, according to the report.
Pakistan joins other predominantly Muslim countries whose leaders have spoken out against Charlie Hebdo for its latest publication.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif “said that freedom of speech should not be used to hurt the religious sentiments of any community” and that the world should discourage the “publication of provocative material.”
More funerals for victims of the violence were held Thursday.
They included ceremonies for policeman Franck Brinsolaro, Charlie Hebdo cartoonists Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac and Georges Wolinski, and columnist and psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat. All were killed in last week’s attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices.
Magazine staffers and contributors were gathered for an editorial meeting when, authorities said, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi burst into the newsroom and gunned down staffers, killing 12 and wounding 11.
Kosher store siege
One positive story emerged from Friday’s deadly siege at a kosher grocery store in Paris, just two days after the Charlie Hebdo rampage.
It was that of Lassana Bathily, a Malian Muslim immigrant and supermarket employee who said he helped some hostages into a walk-in freezer at the store while it was under attack.
On Thursday, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said France would grant him French citizenship, according to a statement.
The French government expedited Bathily’s application, which he filed in July 2014. Cazeneuve himself will conduct the citizenship ceremony on January 20.
Nearly 300,000 signatures have been added to a Change.org petition calling for Bathily to receive French citizenship and France’s prestigious Legion of Honor award.
In a speech at the Arab World Institute, French President Francois Hollande said that Muslims” are the first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism and intolerance” and that Islam was compatible with democracy.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility Wednesday for tCharlie Hebdo shooting.
The attack was years in the making, AQAP commander Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi said in a video, claiming U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the mastermind behind it.
Al-Awlaki was the terror group’s spokesman before a U.S. drone strike killed him in Yemen in 2011.
For days, intelligence analysts have been trying to piece together whether the Kouachi brothers, the gunmen who attacked the magazine, met him on trips to Yemen – a theory that could be bolstered by the new video’s claim.
What is al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula?
Al-Ansi praised the magazine attack, saying it was revenge for Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Mohammed.
U.S. authorities said they think the video is authentic. But they weren’t ready to say that AQAP helped carry out the assault.
AQAP did not claim responsibility for the kosher grocery store siege but praised it.
“It was a blessing from Allah” that the store siege, in which four hostages were killed, took place about the same time, al-Ansi said.
The possible accomplice
French security services have identified a suspected accomplice in that attack, according to the French newspaper Le Parisien.
Police sources cited by the newspaper said one line of investigation is that the accomplice, a man from a Paris suburb, may have driven gunman Amedy Coulibaly to the kosher supermarket, where Coulibaly later shot dead four people.
Coulibaly was killed in a police raid to end the siege. The Kouachi brothers also are dead. But investigators’ efforts to track down possible suspects tied to last week’s attacks are continuing.
Le Parisien’s report said investigators identified Coulibaly’s suspected accomplice using keys for a motorbike discovered in an apartment they raided over the weekend.
Neighbors told CNN the apartment, in the Paris suburb of Gentilly, was raided Saturday by police.
Also found inside the apartment, according to Le Parisien: a stash of weapons, explosives and two ISIS flags.
Coulibaly purportedly told authorities before he was killed that he belonged to ISIS.
Police also think the suspected accomplice may have been responsible for shooting and wounding a jogger last week – an attack that the Paris prosecutor has said could be tied to Coulibaly because the ammunition used was the same as ammunition found at the scene of the kosher market attack, Le Parisien said.
Paris police would not comment to CNN on the contents of the report.
Le Parisien says Coulibaly’s suspected accomplice, whom the newspaper did not name, may have fled France, possibly for Syria.
Officials have also said they believe Hayat Boumeddiene, Coulibaly’s widow, may have played a role in the attacks and has fled to Syria.
Coulibaly and Boumeddiene drove from France to Madrid on December 31, a Spanish source close to the nation’s security sources told CNN.
Coulibaly remained until January 2, when he returned to France, while Boumeddiene flew that same day from Madrid to Istanbul, the source said.
Spanish security authorities are investigating what Coulibaly and Boumeddiene did while in Madrid, and are trying to determine where they stayed, whom they had contact with, and whether they had any support in Spain.
Eyup Serbest, a reporter for Hurriyet, a Turkish newspaper, said that on January 5, two days before the Charlie Hebdo attack, police searched the hotel where Boumeddiene stayed in Kadikoy, Istanbul. Police took all the digital registration records on the hotel’s computer, including video recordings within the hotel.
The arms connection
Belgian federal prosecutors told CNN on Thursday that a man is under arrest in Charleroi in connection with arms trafficking. They said he recently bought a car from Boumeddiene.
Prosecutors said the man was “known to police” but couldn’t be directly linked to Coulibaly.
According to Belgian media, the man went to police after learning about last week’s shootings. They then searched his house and found documents that matched the type of gun Coulibaly used in Paris.
CNN has not been able to independently confirm the details of the raid on the man’s home or the documents found, after contacting police.
The money trail
U.S. officials have told CNN it’s believed that when Cherif Kouachi traveled to Yemen in 2011, he returned carrying money from AQAP earmarked to carry out the attack. Investigators said the terrorist group could have given as much as $20,000, but the exact amount has not been verified.
French newspaper La Voix du Nord reports that Coulibaly also secured funds that may have been used in the attack on the kosher supermarket.
He got the loan for $7,000 (6,000 euros) from the Cofidis Bank in Villeneuve d’Ascq, in northern France.
The paper reported the amount that Coulibaly borrowed was not high enough to require an explanation of how the money would be spent. He took out the loan in December.
Obama and Cameron
U.S. President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron are expected to discuss the Paris attacks when they meet Thursday and Friday in Washington.
The two leaders pledged to safeguard “our way of life” in a jointly written opinion piece for the Times of London.
“We will continue to stand together against those who threaten our values and our way of life,” they said in Thursday’s edition.
“Along with our French allies, we have made clear to those who think they can muzzle freedom of speech and expression with violence that our voices will only grow louder.”
More terror cases
With France on its highest level of alert, 10,000 troops have deployed across the country. Thousands of police officers are on patrol, including hundreds assigned to protect Jewish schools.
Since the attacks, dozens of cases have been opened in France against people accused of expressing support for terrorism, the Justice Ministry said.
It’s unclear how many people are blamed for the 54 infractions. The cases include investigations involving phone threats, cyberattacks and Facebook posts, the ministry said.
Investigation: The key people, places and questions
CNN’s Al Goodman, Dheepthika Laurent, Holly Yan, Salma Abdelaziz, Pierre Meilhan, Pamela Brown, Tim Lister, Vasco Cotovio, Daniel Burke, Barbara Starr, Greg Botelho, Hande Atay, Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley and Margot Haddad contributed to this report.