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International cooperation on terrorism must get stronger, says French Foreign Minister

January 8th, 2015
07:01 PM ET

By Madalena Araujo, CNN

International cooperation on terrorism must get stronger, French Foreign Minister told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday on the heels of the attack on the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Laurent Fabius said that the country has been under threat and “we have stopped a number of attacks already, but unfortunately we cannot undermine 100 percent of attacks in all cells [and] as a consequence the international work of cooperation must be stronger and stronger.”

“We have known for a long time that not only in France but throughout the countries of Europe, United States, England, all the countries of the world are threatened. What we really have to understand is that these terrorists, whether they be nationals of the countries or foreign, that this is a world threat.”

French President François Hollande declared Thursday a day of mourning following the attack on the satirical weekly's headquarters, which left twelve dead and eleven injured. A major manhunt is underway for the gunmen, who said they were avenging the Prophet Mohammed.

Two brothers, Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, have been identified by French authorities as the main suspects.

The French Foreign Minister told Amanpour that he hopes “this is a time to reflect [on] why these terrorists struck. They struck because of what France is, what she is and what she does. France is a country of freedom.”

Fabius added that “we’re going to catch them, judge them, condemn them, but at the same time that is the work of the Justice and the police.”

According to Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman, the victims were called out name by name before they were shot execution-style.

Wednesday’s attack, Fabius said, “shows that there is a complete change in terrorist methods, because not only what we know is that those persons are French nationals but also that [the] attack was targeted they want to target journalists in particular.”

“That is to say that we have many people who originate from Europe, but they may originate from Asia, or America, or South America, who are… have connections with the terrorist operations in Syria and Iraq.”

In 2012,  Fabius said that Charlie Hebdo was “pouring fuel on the fire” after the magazine published a series of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. When Amanpour asked the French Foreign Minister if he thinks the publication went too far he replied with a firm no.

“Press freedom is a sacred principle. There is no democracy without freedom, there is no freedom without freedom of the press. That does not mean that you always like what you read, and maybe Charlie Hebdo sometimes has been provocative. That is their raison d’être.”

He added that it “is very important that this newspaper Charlie Hebdo carries on existing because if despite everything we are saying the journalists are now… some of them are being killed. If it was just stopped, then those terrorists would have won what they wanted.”


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