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Showing posts from January 10, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo attack: Geo-politics, eurocentrism, Islamophobia, and blowback

Dr. Can Erimtan is an independent scholar residing in İstanbul, with a wide interest in the politics, history and culture of the Balkans and the Greater Middle East. 

Firefighters carry an injured man on a stretcher in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, after armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving at least one dead according to a police source and "six seriously injured" police officers according to City Hall. (AFP Photo/Philippe Dupeyrat)

The recent violent outrage in Paris that saw cartoonists and other innocents killed is but the latest example of the way in which Muslim extremists nowadays manage to occupy the airwaves and dominate the news broadcasts.

But rather than proving that Islam is just a religion that cannot coexist with modern life and values, a closer look at the origins of Islamic extremism and terrorism betrays its indebtedness to geo-political machinations and the legacy of the Cold War's…

Paris shootings: How the sieges at Dammartin-en-Goele print works and Jewish grocer ended

All three suspects were killed and 16 hostages freed


Two days of manhunts and sieges came to an abrupt and violent end in the space of just five minutes today with the deaths of the brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre and a man who seized a Kosher supermarket in an attempt to help them escape.

Gunmen Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, and their alleged associate Amedy Coulibaly all died during the operations.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said several people have been handed preliminary charges in the investigation following the three-day rampage, including unidentified family members of the three suspects.

Coulibaly had burst into the Hyper Cacher shop earlier in the day "shooting in all directions", sparking panic and a police lock-down of the surrounding area. Four people were killed as he made his bloody entrance, with their bodies still there when police raided it hours later.

After hours of eerie quiet in the Parisian suburb of Vince…

Paris attacks: Police hunt for grocery shop gunman's girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene


Police are still hunting the girlfriend of Amedy Coulibaly after the gunman was killed during the violent end of the siege of a Jewish grocery shop in Paris, in which he killed four hostages.

The whereabouts of Hayat Boumeddiene are unknown after police named her as an "armed and dangerous" suspect. She was believed to be Coulibaly's accomplice during the shooting of a female police officer on Thursday.

Boumeddiene is believed to be of Algerian descent but changed her name to make it appear more French and reportedly worked as a cashier before being radicalised.

The 26-year-old is believed to have been in a relationship with Amedy Coulibaly since 2010She and Coulibaly are believed to have married in a religious ceremony in 2009, which is not recognised in French law.

It has emerged that the pair had exchanged about 500 phone calls with the companion of one of the Kouachi brothers during 2014.

The attack on the supermarket was carefully co-ordinated with the Cha…