News Content Analysis

| June 19, 2015

News Content Analysis

ook at the representation of Islam and Islamic people, write a 1000 word fully-referenced critical analysis of the news content. You will need to provide: a brief abstract, a description of the methodology you use to measure the news stories, a short literature review, an analysis of your data, and a conclusion. looking at the language that’s used in reports, where the stories sit in newspapers or in news bulletins, how certain groups of people are represented, what sources are used, what are the sources of stories, etc.

Please use these references provided as well as others from your research.

1) Herbert, J 2001 “Practising Global Journalism”
2) Quaraishu, B 2001 ‘Islam in the Western Media’ in the Muliticultural Skyscraper Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 3 12 Oct, p. 6
3) Analysing Newspaper Content. A How-To Guide by Lynch and Limor Peer, ph. D. 2002
4) Said, E 1997, ‘Islam as news’, in Covering Islam: how the media and the experts determine how we see the rest of the world. Reved, Vintage, NY, p.3-35
5) Seib, P 2002, ‘Collision: technology, money and ethics’, in the global journalist: news and conscience in a world of conflict, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, p.1-22

and some helpful links:

Click to access Thesis-UPDATED-08.pdf

Click to access Brubaker-and-Hanson-The-Effect-of-Fox-News-and-CNN-Postdebate-Commentary.pdf

Date: December 15, 2014

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/martin-place-lindt-cafe-siege-muslim-leaders-brace-for-backlash-20141215-127fzo.html

Martin Place Lindt cafe siege: Muslim leaders brace for backlash
‘We want to resolve this peacefully’
The priority for authorities dealing with the hostage siege in Sydney is the safety of all those involved, says NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn.
A coalition of Muslim groups has issued a statement expressing their “utter shock and horror” over the siege at Martin Place and “urging everyone to stay calm”.
“We reject any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being, or to instil fear and terror into their hearts,” the statement says.

Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed condemned “this criminal act unequivocally”. Photo: Janie Barrett
“Any such despicable act only serves to play into the agendas of those who seek to destroy the goodwill of the people of Australia and to further damage and ridicule the religion of Islam, and Australian Muslims in this country.
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“We remind everyone that the Arabic inscription on the black flag is not representative of a political statement, but reaffirms a testimony of faith that has been misappropriated by misguided individuals that represent no one but themselves.”
Community leaders were bracing for a backlash against their communities in coming days and warned mosque members to head straight home on Monday evening.

One of the women held hostage inside the cafe for several hours runs into the arms of police after being freed. Photo: AP
One fringe right-wing organisation, the Australian Defence League, was using its Facebook page to urge supporters to prepare to descend on Lakemba, a strongly Muslim area of Sydney.
“If one person is harmed we are calling on all Australians to converge on Lakemba tonight. Who is ready?” the organisation posted mid-afternoon.
The Muslim community has been united in their condemnation of the events and community leaders appear puzzled by both the identity and motivation of the hostage taker.

Police at the scene of the siege Monday afternoon. Photo: Daniel Munoz
The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, said he and the Australian National Imam Council condemned “this criminal act unequivocally and reiterate that such actions are denounced in part and in whole in Islam”.
“We along with the wider Australian community await the results of the investigation about the identity of the perpetrators and their underlying motivations behind this criminal act.”
The chief executive of the Arab Council of Australia, Ms Randa Kattan, expressed horror at the events.
“We are extremely concerned that this is happening in multicultural Australia.
“Our thoughts and great concerns are with the hostages who are caught up in this terrible situation, their families and all the people affected by this including the police officers on the scene,” she said.
Parramatta Islamic Cultural Association chairman Neil El Kadomi said his organisation had already met with local police to discuss the situation.
“We have told the kids at the mosque not to go around Parramatta because this event will inevitably raise the temperature in the community. They should go straight home after prayers.”
Mr El Kadomi said it was particularly terrible that these events had happened around Christmas. He said his own daughter, who worked at David Jones, had been caught up in event and had not been allowed to leave the building, he said.
Rissalah College in Lakemba was flooded with calls from “panicked parents” according to principal Afif Khalil.
“It was our end of year presentations today, and I took the opportunity to talk about the Islamic State,” said Mr Khalil. “The parents are shocked. Most of our school community is from war-torn countries. They have come here to escape that, and then to find that this stuff has followed them here is terrible.”
Mr Khalil said he has not put on any more security for Tuesday, which is the last day of school. “It will be business as usual. We have a very good relationship with Campsie police, who make their presence known at time like these.”
Sydney’s Muslim leaders were already meeting with police on Monday morning when they heard about the Martin Place siege.
Keysar Trad, from the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said: “The police were just informing us about charges that were going to be laid against two men who were involved in the raids in September,” Trad said.
“When news of the siege came through there was speculation in the room that it could be linked to that, that perhaps it was a parent of one of the men who was being charged. But we really don’t know.”
Muslim community figure Rebecca Kay said the siege would probably intensify anti-Islamic sentiment. “You are already seeing stuff on social media, with people saying ‘Deport all Muslims’,” she said.
“After the new security laws were introduced, we tracked attacks on Muslims through Sydney, and we found that there were five to seven attacks per day in a three week period. Cars being vandalised, women being punched, being spat on or verbally abused. That will probably increase now in the lead up to Christmas. It’s all people are going to be talking about.”
Muslim leaders say they do not recognise any of those inside the cafe including a man being reported to be the gunman and cannot discern his motivation.
“He’s certainly no one that I recognise,” says Mr Trad, from the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia. “And the flag he has held up is not a jihadist flag, it’s the kalimah, which translates as ‘There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his messenger.’ ”
Kuranda Seyit from the Forum on Islamic Relations and Ms Kay also remained in the dark on the possible identity of the man. Mr Seyit said: “I know many people in the community, but I don’t recognise this man.”
But in this climate of fear and uncertainty, Australians banded together to show their support for the Muslim population.
The #illridewithyou hashtag amassed more than 22,000 tweets on Monday evening, as Australians took a stand against anti-Muslim sentiment in the wake of the Martin Place siege.
A young Sydney woman, Rachael Jacobs, appears to have inspired the campaign after posting a moving Facebook status about her encounter with a Muslim woman earlier in the day.

Date: December 16, 2014
Martin Place, Sydney siege gunman identified as Man Haron Monis
The man who held more than a dozen people hostage, placing Sydney’s CBD into lockdown is no stranger to the NSW police or the judiciary.
Self-described cleric, Man Haron Monis, 50, first came to attention of police when he penned poisonous letters to the family of dead Australian soldiers seven years ago.

The suspect at the centre of the siege in Martin Place has been identified as Man Haron Monis. Photo: Nick Ralston
Last year he was charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and mother of two.
Most recently, he was charged with more than 50 allegations of indecent and sexual assault relating to time allegedly spent as a self-proclaimed “spiritual healer” who dealt with black magic at a premises in western Sydney more than a decade ago.
Monis, who has also gone by the names of Sheikh Haron and Mohammad Hassan Manteghi, was born in Iran and most recently has been living at Bexley North in Sydney’s south.

NSW Tactical Operations officers at the scene of the siege on Monday night. Photo: Andrew Meares
He recently likened himself on his own webpage to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, claiming the most recent charges against him have been laid for “political reasons”.
His website also carries a quote, posted earlier this month stating: “I used to be a Rafidi, but not any more. Now I am a Muslim, Alhamdu Lillah”.
It has been Monis’ on-going legal battle for his conviction for penning the poisonous letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers between 2007 and 2009 that has consumed him.
It is understood Monday’s incident followed an unsuccessful, last-ditch attempt in the High Court on Friday to have the charges overturned.
Monis was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and placed on a two year good behaviour bond for the “offensive and deplorable letters” sent with the assistance of his girlfriend Amirah Droudis.
They were sent to the families of  Private Luke Worsley and Lance Corporal Jason Marks, who were killed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008.
He also sent a letter in 2009 to the family of the Austrade official Craig Senger, who was killed in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2007.
Monis claimed the letters were his own version of a “flower basket” or “condolence card”.
Bree Till, widow of Sergeant Brett Till, killed while defusing a bomb on March 12, 2009, said at the time of his conviction: “We sat reading these letters (which) made out to be something supportive but then the juxtaposition of this man accusing my husband of being a child-killer while dictating how I should raise my children. It was scary,” she said.
He fought the validity of the charges all the way to the High Court arguing they were political and only sought to persuade the families to oppose Australia’s military involvement in Afghanistan.
But when he lost that battle, and had to stand trial, he pleaded guilty to all 12 charges against him in August 2013.
But his problems with the law did not end there. Monis is currently on bail in relation two separate, serious cases.
He was charged in November 2013 with being an accessory before and after the fact to the murder of his ex-wife Noleen Hayson Pal.
Ms Pal was stabbed and set alight in a Werrington apartment block.
Droudis has been charged with the murder.
And then in April this year, Monis was charged by sex crimes squad detectives with the indecent and sexual assault of a woman in western Sydney in 2002.
Police allege that Monis was a self-proclaimed “spiritual healer” who operated out of premises on Station Street at Wentworthville.
News of his arrest prompted more victims to come forward and Monis was hit with an additional 40 charges in October.
It is alleged that Monis placed ads in local newspapers offering “spiritual consultation”.
He claimed to be an expert in astrology, numerology, meditation and black magic.
Monis has posted online that the police charges are part of a witch hunt against him.
“Since the Australian government cannot tolerate Sheikh Haron’s activity, is trying to damage his image by these false accusations, and also for putting pressure on him to stop his activity and keep him silent, but God willing Man Haron Monis will not stop his political activity against oppression,” he writes in a description of himself on his website, sheikhharon.com
His former Facebook page, pulled down on Monday night as the siege continued had 14,725 “likes” when it was shut down.

Date: December 17, 2014

Dozens of students killed in Pakistani Taliban attack on Peshawar school
More than 100 children massacred
At least 140 people, most of them children, have been killed when Taliban gunmen stormed a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. WARNING: Disturbing images.
Taliban insurgents have killed at least 140 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan.
Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar and gunmen went from classroom to classroom, shooting children.

Hospital security guards carry a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban in Pakistan. Photo: AP
The gunmen killed 141 in total, including 132 children and 9 teachers, according to the most recent reports.
“In CMH (Combined Military Hospital) there are around 60 and there are 24 dead in Lady Reading (hospital),” Pervaiz Khattak, Chief Minister of the province where Pehsawar is located, told local television channels.
Distraught parents thronged the city’s Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood.

A Pakistani girl, who was injured in a Taliban attack in a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar. Photo: AP
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack as retaliation for a major military offensive in the region, saying militants had been ordered to shoot older students.
“We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani. “We want them to feel the pain.”
The Afghanistan Taliban, meanwhile, have condemned the attack. “The intentional killing of innocent people, children and women are against the basics of Islam and this criteria has to be considered by every Islamic party and government,” Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

An armoured personnel carrier moves toward a school under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar. Photo: AP
The Pakistani Taliban are separate from but allied to the Afghan Taliban across the border. Both aim to overthrow their own governments and establish an Islamic state.
According to early witness accounts, the gunmen fired indiscriminately at children and teachers. It is the bloodiest massacre the country has seen for years.
More than eight hours after militants entered the school compound, the military declared the operation to flush them out over, and said that all nine insurgents had been killed.

Pakistani volunteers carry a student injured after an attack by Taliban gunmen to a local hospital in Peshawar. Photo: AP
The attack at a military-run high school attended by at least 500 students, many of them children of army personnel, struck at the heart of Pakistan’s military establishment, an assault certain to enrage the country’s powerful army.
The attack began around 10.30am local time when a group of nine insurgents, reportedly in military uniforms, entered the school.
The Taliban said the gunmen had been equipped with suicide vests. Three explosions were heard inside the high school at the height of the massacre, raising fears of more casualties.

A child receiving treatment at a hospital following an attack by Taliban gunmen. Photo: AFP
Outside, as helicopters rumbled overhead, police struggled to hold back distraught parents who were trying to break past a security cordon and get into the school.
Officials said 122 people were wounded. A local hospital said the dead and injured were aged from 10 to 20 years old.
The gunmen, who several students said communicated with each other in a foreign language, managed to slip past the school’s security because they were wearing Pakistani military uniforms, local media reported.

Relatives of a student, who was injured during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School, comfort each other outside Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. Photo: Reuters
A security official said hundreds of students and staff were in the school when the attack began, though according to the military the bulk of them were then evacuated.
Around five-and-a-half hours after the attack began, the army’s chief spokesman General Asim Bajwa said the attackers had been cleared from all but one of the school’s buildings.
Five militants had been killed, Bajwa said.

Pakistani soldiers transport rescued school children from the site of an attack by Taliban. Photo: AFP
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.
“These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss,” he said.
Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani said the death toll had reached 130, with a similar number wounded. The toll was confirmed by another provincial minister.

Ambulances leave a military-run school where Taliban gunmen have taken hostages. Photo: Reuters
Provincial Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said the attackers were wearing uniforms of the government paramilitary Frontier Corps.
Mudassar Abbas, a physics laboratory assistant at the school, said some students were celebrating at a party when the attack began.
“I saw six or seven people walking class-to-class and opening fire on children,” he said.

Where the Taliban attack on the school took place in Pakistan. Photo: Fairfax
One student said soldiers came to rescue them during a lull in the firing.
“When we were coming out of the class we saw dead bodies of our friends lying in the corridors. They were bleeding. Some were shot three times, some four times,” the student said.
“The men entered the rooms one by one and started indiscriminate firing at the staff and students.”
The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is part of the Army Public Schools and Colleges System, which runs 146 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians.
Its students range in age from around 10 to 18.
The Pakistani Taliban, who are fighting to topple the government and set up a strict Islamic state, have vowed to step up attacks against Pakistani targets in response to a major army operation against the insurgents in the tribal areas.
The army said in a statement that many hostages had been evacuated but did not say how many.
“Rescue operation by troops underway. Exchange of fire continues. Bulk of student(s) and staff evacuated. Reports of some children and teachers killed by terrorist,” the army said in a brief English-language statement.
Military officials at the scene said at least six armed men had entered the military-run Army Public School. About 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside.
“We were standing outside the school and firing suddenly started and there was chaos everywhere and the screams of children and teachers,” said Jamshed Khan, a school bus driver.
One student inside the school at the time of the attack told a private television channel: “We were in the examination hall when all of sudden firing started and our teachers told us to silently lay on the floor. We remained on the floor for an hour. There was a lot of gunfire.
“When the gunfire died down our soldiers came and guided us out.”
Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani told Reuters his group was responsible for the attack.
“Our suicide bombers have entered the school, they have instructions not to harm the children, but to target the army personnel,” he said.
“It’s a revenge attack for the army offensive in North Waziristan,” he said, referring to the anti-Taliban military offensive that began in June.
A Reuters journalist at the scene heard heavy gunfire from inside the school as soldiers surrounded it. Helicopters hovered overhead and ambulances ferried wounded children to hospital.
The Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, a sprawling and volatile city not far from the Afghan border, earlier said the hospital had received the bodies of at least 12 people and was treating 40 wounded students and two male teachers.
“Many are in the operation theatre now in critical condition, undergoing treatment,” said hospital official Ejaz Khan.
“An army doctor was visiting us teaching us about first aid when attackers came from behind our school and started firing,” one student told Pakistan’s Dunya Television.
“Our teachers locked the door and we ducked on the floor, but they (militants) broke down the door. Initially they fired in the air and later started killing the students, but left the hall suddenly.
“The attackers had long beards, wore shalwar kameez (traditional baggy clothes) and spoke Arabic.”
The Taliban had earlier said they had sent six insurgents with suicide vests to attack the school.
The Pakistani Taliban, who are fighting to topple the government and set up a strict Islamic state, have vowed to step up attacks in response to a major army operation against the insurgents in the tribal areas.
They have targeted security forces, checkpoints, military bases and airports, but attacks on civilian targets with no logistical significance are relatively rare.
In September, 2013, dozens of people, including many children, were killed in an attack on a church, also in Peshawar, a sprawling and violent city near the Afghan border.
Pakistanis, used to almost daily militant attacks, were shocked by the scale of the massacre and the loss of so many young lives.
It recalled the 2004 siege of a school in Russia’s Beslan by Chechen militants which ended in the death of more than 330 people, half of them children.
Malala condemns Taliban school attack
Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai says she’s heartbroken by killing of scores of children by Taliban militants in Pakistan.
17-year-old Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, says the incident is a senseless and cold blooded act of terror.

Date: December 22, 2014

http://www.smh.com.au/world/pakistan-to-execute-500-terror-convicts-20141222-12chgj.html

Protesters condemn the Taliban attack on the school in Peshawar. Photo: Reuters

Pakistan school massacre: arrests made
Islamabad: Pakistan plans to execute about 500 militants in coming weeks after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre.

Six militants have been hanged since Friday amid rising public anger over Tuesday’s slaughter in the north-western city of Peshawar, which left 149 people dead including 133 children.

A grieving mother at the army-run school in Peshawar where her son Ali was killed last week. Photo: AFP

After the deadliest terror attack in Pakistani history, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended the six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.

Advertisement “Interior ministry has finalised the cases of 500 convicts who have exhausted all the appeals, their mercy petitions have been turned down by the President and their executions will take place in coming weeks,” a senior government official said on the condition of anonymity.

A second official confirmed the information.

A Pakistani army officer stands guard inside the school in Peshawar that was attacked last week. Photo: AP

Of the six hanged so far, five were involved in a failed attempt to assassinate the then-military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2003, while one was involved in a 2009 attack on army headquarters.

Police, troops and paramilitary rangers have been deployed across the country and airports and prisons put on red alert as the executions take place and troops intensify operations against Taliban militants in north-western tribal areas.

Sharif has ordered the attorney general’s office to “actively pursue” capital cases currently in the courts, a government spokesman said.

Pakistani soldiers stand guard outside the Faisalabad prison as an execution of convicted militants takes place. Photo: AFP

“Prime Minister has also issued directions for appropriate measures for early disposal of pending cases related to terrorism,” the spokesman said without specifically confirming the plan to execute 500.

Pakistan has described Tuesday’s bloody rampage as its own “mini 9/11″, calling it a game-changer in the fight against extremism.

The decision to reinstate executions has been condemned by human rights groups, with the United Nations also calling for it to reconsider.

Human Rights Watch on Saturday termed the executions “a craven politicised reaction to the Peshawar killings” and demanded that no further hangings be carried out.

Pakistan began its de facto moratorium on civilian executions in 2008, but hanging remains on the statute books and judges continue to pass death sentences.

Before Friday’s resumption, only one person had been executed since then – a soldier convicted by a court martial and hanged in November 2012.
Date: Wednesday 7 January 2015

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/world/video-allegedly-shows-is-leaders-cocaine-stash-captured-on-camera/story-fnj94lfw-1227176656199

Video allegedly shows IS leader’s cocaine stash captured on camera

Unverified footage from VICE news shows a bag of what is thought to be cocaine allegedly found at the home of an IS leader. Picture: VICE, screengrab.

The organisation also reports allegations leaders dished drugs out to militants for courage, while Kurdish fighters tell of finding pills, capsules and syringes on dead IS militants.
Cocaine allegedly found at home of IS leader
The video remains unverified, however it comes following reports in November last year that billions of dollars worth of cocaine is smuggled to Europe each year along routes controlled by terrorist groups who have pledged support to the Islamic State.
The profits have been used to fund armoured vehicles, missiles and guns, according to the International Business Times.
Meanwhile Spanish intelligence sources said jihadist groups including IS are using drugs to finance their quest in Iraq and Syria, using knowledge of smuggling routes to export arms and drugs including cocaine, heroin and hashish.
Around one fifth of those detained in Spain under terrorism laws have previously served prison time for drug trafficking or creating counterfeit documents, intelligence reports.

Unverified footage obtained by VICE purports to show a bag of cocaine found in the home of an IS leader. Picture: VICE, screengrab.
Monash University’s Director of the Centre for Islam and the Modern World, Professor Greg Barton said it’s difficult to know to what degree the Islamic State is involved in the drug trade, however the group has been ruthless in exploiting opportunities to make money such as kidnapping for ransom and seizing control of oilfields.
“We know they are involved in a range of illegal business and we know they have no compunction about what they’re involved in,” he said.
“We do know they’re involved in weapons, smuggling, oil. The question of drugs would largely be a question of opportunity and what drugs are available.”

An image on a militant website shows a convoy of IS fighters in Iraq. Picture: AP Photo via militant website, File.
Professor Barton said reports suggest the Islamic State has daily cash flows in excess of $2 million but exactly how much of that is garnered through the drug trade is unclear.
“It’s much less clear what production and transport levels they control. It’s a different dynamic to the Taliban who controlled considerable opium production and distribution.”
The extremist group’s influence has been rapidly expanding since mid-2014 and IS now controls large parts of northern Iraq and Syria home to eight million people. It also controls large parts of the border between Turkey and Syria and traditional smuggling routes along with it, Professor Barton said.
“That border has for a long time been a source of smuggling and contraband routes. Now that IS controls that territory it’s not surprising whatever was going on in the past is now under their control. It’s reasonable to assume there are some sort of flows going through but I don’t know the mechanics of it.”

Smoke rises in a clash between IS fighters and a coalition of fighters north of Baghdad. Picture: AFP/Mohammed Sawaf.
While drug smuggling might be at odds with Islamic State ideology, experts agree it’s a case of the end justifying the means for militants.
The Quilliam Foundation’s Haras Rafiq told Newsweek smuggling is part of IS “heritage” under al-Qaeda.
“Smuggling drugs, arms, even alcohol is considered forbidden in Islam so the way ISIS excuse it is they see they are fighting a greater jihad,” Rafiq told the organisation.
“In times of war they believe more is permitted to achieve their goals.”
Professor Barton agrees the basic logic used by militants is that they are in a complex situation and the “rules of war apply”.
“The ethical dimensions and moral questions are summarily dismissed,” he said.
“It is obviously paradoxical but hypocrisy is not a problem IS is burdened by … The overwhelming issue is that they recruit on the basis of idealism but everything they do is at odds with what they believe.”
The Professor said while he hadn’t heard of specific cases, it’s also possible drugs are used as a tactic by leaders to indoctrinate militants, as has been seen in West Asia, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the past.
“If you’re trying to reprogram the mind and sensibilities of young men … apart from the atmosphere of indoctrination, camaraderie and the adrenalin rush of a conflict zone … one would expect the practical element,” he said.

Date: January 08, 2015 10

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/world/stphane-charbonnier-editor-of-charlie-hebdo-was-on-al-qaeda-most-wanted-list/story-fnj94lfw-1227178010551

Stéphane Charbonnier, editor of Charlie Hebdo, was on Al-Qaeda most wanted list
Charbonnier or “Charb” was on a Al-Qaeda most wanted list since 2012 and even had his own personal bodyguard, who was also reportedly killed alongside him in the mass shooting at the magazine’s Paris headquarters early today.
As well as the editorship Charbonnier was the French satirical newspaper’s chief cartoonist — and long ago earned the wrath of radical Muslims with what they argued were provocative cartoons that seemed to mock prophet Mohammed.
He was undoubtedly the main target of the gunmen.
The 47-year-old had been flirting with danger since at least 2011 when he published a caricature of the prophet with the caption “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing.”
Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb, was the editor of Charlie Hebdo and died along with 11 others in a shooting at the magazine office
Stéphane Charbonnier refused to be intimidated by the threats made against him.
The office was firebombed in response but no one was seriously injured.
There were more protests after Charlie Hebdo ran a cover featuring Mohammed in a wheelchair, being pushed by an Orthodox Jew, with both of them saying “You must not mock us.” Other cartoons featured a naked Mohammed.
Charbonnier wouldn’t be moved by the protests. Or the threats.
He had no family so didn’t fear revenge attacks, he told ABC News during a 2012 interview. “I prefer to die than to live like a rat” and would rather “die standing than live on my knees”.
Masked gunman fire their weapons outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office.
He later sought to explain his position.
“The accusation that we are pouring oil on the flames in the current situation really gets on my nerves … We publish caricatures every week, but people only describe them as declarations of war when it’s about the person of the prophet or radical Islam. When you start saying that you can’t create such drawings, then the same thing will soon apply to other, more harmless representations,” he said in 2012.

Stéphane Charbonnier had a bodyguard since 2011 and was on an Al-Qaeda hit list.
That year he was placed on Al-Qaeda’s hit list while elsewhere the threats continued, including one where a man was arrested for allegedly calling for him to be beheaded on the internet.
In another interview he said: “Mohamed isn’t sacred to me. I don’t blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law. I don’t live under Koranic law.“
A staff member at the magazine said Charbonnier would occasionally not use his police protection; a sign that he possibly wasn’t constantly looking over his shoulder.
Charbonnier himself appeared to confirm that in an interview with Los Angeles Times: “It just so happens I’m more likely to get run over by a bicycle in Paris than get assassinated.”
It wasn’t just radicals that clashed with Charbonnier. Political leaders and the Catholic Church in France were frequent critics and police asked him to reconsider running the cartoons which they branded “irresponsible”.
The last tweet from the magazine’s account was a cartoon of the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, with the caption ‘best wishes, by the way’, .although it wasn’t immediately clear if the group was linked to this attack.
And the last cover, drawn by Charbonnier, seemed to predict the massacre.
No attacks in France yet; No attacks in France yet; wait! There’s until end of Jan to wish Happy New Year.”

Date: January 9, 2015
MI5 boss Andrew Parker says al-Qaeda terrorists are plotting ‘mass casualty attacks’

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/world/mi5-boss-andrew-parker-says-al-qaeda-terrorists-are-plotting-mass-casualty-attacks/story-fnj94lfw-1227179471928

Manhunt intensified … Scenes like this one in France, where heavily armed police are hunting down the gunmen from the Paris massacre, could become more common in Western countries.
A GROUP of core al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning “mass casualty attacks” against the West, the head of MI5 has warned.
As dramatic events surrounding the terrorist attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris continue to unfold, Andrew Parker, director general of the Security Service, said transport networks and iconic landmarks were among Western targets of “complex and ambitious plots” by Syria-based extremists.
Aviation bomb plots and Mumbai-style shootings in crowded places are thought to be among plans being developed by the shadowy group, which has Britain among its sights.
Top spy … MI5 boss Andrew Parker says al-Qaeda terrorists are plotting more mass casualty attacks.
It is understood the organisation in question is the so-called “Khorasan” cell, which is made up of jihadists sent to Syria by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Addressing about 70 members of the Royal United Services Institute at MI5 headquarters, Parker said: “We still face more complex and ambitious plots that follow the now sadly well-established approach of al-Qaeda and its imitators — attempts to cause large scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets.”
Targeting the West … President Barack Obama shakes hands with French Ambassador to the United States Gérard Araud after signing a condolence book at the French Embassy in Washington, DC.
“We know, for example, that a group of core al Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning mass casualty attacks against the West.” Mr Parker says around 600 extremists are now among many Britons who have travelled to Syria, higher than previous estimates of 500, and a significant proportion has joined the extremist group IS. He disclosed that in recent months three UK terrorist plots, which would have led to deaths, have been foiled by MI5 and its intelligence partners at MI6 and GCHQ.
It is understood the plots were a mix of mass casualty attacks and lone-wolf style killings as seen on the streets of Woolwich when Fusilier Lee Rigby was killed in 2013.

Date: January 10, 2015
Charlie Hebdo attack: Suspected gunmen killed after police standoff

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/world/charlie-hebdo-attack-suspected-gunmen-killed-after-police-standoff/story-fnj94lfw-1227178925700

BREAKING NEWS: TWO brothers suspected of slaughtering 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper have been killed after elite police stormed the building they were holed up in and freed a hostage unhurt, sources close to the investigation said.
As night fell on Friday, explosions rang out when heavily-armed commandos made their move on a small printing firm in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, killing the two massacre suspects. One police officer was injured.
Said and Cherif Kouachi were holed up with a hostage for several hours, surrounded by more than 1500 police officers.
According to French media reports the brothers came out firing before they were killed.
“There were several bursts of gunfire that lasted about 10 seconds. Since then we’ve heard four or five explosions,” Sky News’ Ian Woods, who is at the scene, said.
It came as explosions were heard at the Paris Jewish supermarket where at least six hostages have been held by a gunman linked to the Kouachi brothers.
ROLLING COVERAGE: TWO people have been killed in a hostage siege at a Jewish supermarket in Paris, as 1500 heavily armed police surrounded the Charlie Hebdo terrorist suspects in an industrial estate 40km north east of the French capital.
More than 80,000 personnel are on the ground to tackle the two dangerous hostage situations, as anti-terrorist police work to start a “dialogue” with the Charlie Hebdo attack suspects.
Simultaneous explosions and gunfire were heard at both hostage sites, with reports all hostages were set free.
A police source told AP Islamic militant Amedy Coulibaly is currently holding at least five people hostage in kosher market, Hyper Cacher, in Porte de Vincennes, and threatening to kill them unless the Charlie Hebdo suspects are set free.
Coulibaly allegedly burst into the store about 1pm Friday local time with two machine guns, killing two people.
He is believed to be the same man suspected of killing policewoman Clarissa Jean-Philippe in Montrouge on Thursday morning.
The terrifying siege in the supermarket developed as the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo terror attack, Said and Cherif Kouachi, took refuge in a small printing warehouse in the village of Dammartin-en-Goele, near a Paris airport.
Explosions were seen about 4pm local time at the printing warehouse where the men, who are vowing to die as martyrs, took a woman hostage. The men hijacked a car from a woman early Friday morning, engaged in a shootout and a high-speed chase with police before hiding in the warehouse.
An official described the dual hostage situations as “clearly linked”.
Armed security forces … fly overhead in a military helicopter in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris. Picture: AP
In position … a helicopter flies over the CTD printing building where the suspects in the shooting attack at the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo headquarters are reportedly holding a hostage. Picture: EPA
The siege under way in Dammartin-en-Goele
Counter terrorist police have initiated an assault on printing works where the Kouachi brothers are holed up, and ambulances are driving to the scene.
A round of small explosive blasts have been heard alongside bursts of gunfire where the shooting began just before 4pm local time.
About 1500 Gendarmerie, counter terrorist police and specialist paramilitary tactical RAID group were immediately deployed to Dammartin-en-Goele, where the Charlie Hebdo suspects are cornered, and placed the entire city into lockdown.
There are also reports heavy military vehicles are being transported to the site of the siege.
Snipers were placed on rooftops overlooking the warehouse with helicopters coordinating the swoop from overhead as local schools were put into lockdown.
Nearby residents were told to remain in their homes with doors and windows locked, lights switched off and to avoid passing near windows.
The al-Qaeda trained brothers reportedly had taken at least one hostage. It was believed to be a woman which has given police some hope there will not be further bloodshed since the gunmen have said they did not kill women.
Police negotiators had made contact fairly soon after surrounding the men who told them they were “prepared to die as martyrs” and to “die through martyrdom”.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said all were prepared for a long stand off.
“An operation is under way which is set to neutralise the perpetrators of the cowardly attack carried out two days ago,” Mr Cazeneuve said.

Date: January 16,  2015

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/world/french-president-francois-hollande-says-muslims-main-victims-of-fanaticism-as-paris-terror-victims-laid-to-rest/story-fnihsmjt-1227186559598

FRENCH President Francois Hollande has said Muslims are the “main victims” of fanaticism, as funerals were held in Paris for five of the 17 people killed in last week’s Islamist attacks.
Speaking at the Arab World Institute in Paris, Mr Hollande said on Thursday: “It is Muslims who are the main victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism and intolerance”, adding the whole country was “united in the face of terrorism”.
Members of France’s Muslim community, Europe’s largest, have “the same rights and the same duties as all citizens” and must be “protected”, the president vowed.
The five buried included two of Charlie Hebdo’s best-known cartoonists and Franck Brinsolaro, 49, a police protection officer killed in the satirical magazine’s editorial meeting.
Even as the ceremonies took place, the magazine continued to fly off the shelves, sparking fury in some parts of the Muslim world for depicting the Prophet Mohammed on its cover.

Laid to rest … pallbearers carry the casket of Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, decorated by friends and colleagues. Picture: AP
Georges Wolinski, 80, and Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac, 57, who were gunned down by two Islamist brothers in the attack claimed by al-Qaeda, were buried at private family funerals.
Thousands braved drizzle outside the town hall memorial service for Tignous, laying flowers under a huge portrait of the cartoonist as his wife Chloe paid tribute inside.
His cartoon-covered coffin was carried through an applauding crowd for final burial, as people held aloft banners reading “Thank you Charlie Hebdo” and “Our heroes”.
“It would really annoy you to see us here today with our long faces. We shouldn’t be sad, but proud to have known you,” said Coco, a fellow Charlie Hebdo cartoonist.

… a man holds a placard reading “Homage to our heroes” during the funeral of Georges Wolinski, one of Charlie Hebdo’s best-known cartoonists. Picture: AFP
After the shooting at Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people died, the French rushed to get their hands on the “survivors’ issue”, which sold out on Wednesday before more copies of an eventual print run of five million hit newsstands.
“Charlie Hebdo is alive and will live on,” Mr Hollande said on Wednesday.
“You can murder men and women, but you can never kill their ideas,” he said, declaring the previously struggling weekly “reborn”.
The Charlie Hebdo assault on January 7 was followed two days later by an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris by a gunman claiming to have co-ordinated his actions with brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.

New issue … the cover of Charlie Hebdo featuring the Prophet Mohammed is seen displayed outside the Newseum in Washington, DC. Picture: AFP
In all, 17 people died over three days in the bloodiest attacks in France in half a century, which ended when police stormed two hostage sieges and killed all three gunmen.
Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, where at least one of the Kouachi brothers trained, released a video Wednesday claiming responsibility for the attack, saying it was “vengeance” for the cartoons of the prophet.
The Afghan Taliban on Thursday condemned Charlie Hebdo’s publication of further Mohammed cartoons and praised the gunmen.
Angry protests have been staged in countries from Pakistan and Turkey to the Philippines and Mauritania.

Backlash … supporters of a Pakistani religious group rally to protest against Charlie Hebdo, in Lahore, Pakistan. Picture: AP
A Turkish court ordered a block on websites featuring images of the magazine cover and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday described it as a “grave provocation”, adding: “Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to insult.”
But many have sought to calm tensions, with French Muslim leaders urging their communities to “stay calm and avoid emotive reactions”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who will fly into Paris later on Thursday to pay his respects to the dead, said he wanted to give the French capital a “big hug.”

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