Paris Attack Product of West’s Interference in Middle east

Paris Attack Product of West’s Interference in Middle eastParis Attack Product of West’s Interference in Middle east

The British foreign secretary blamed the shooting at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on the West’s intervention in the Middle East, Russian news agency TASS said in a report.

Philip Hammond was speaking at a joint press conference with Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja, during his tour of the Baltic States, where he claimed the attack on Charlie Hebdo was a result of the conflict in the Middle East between the West and the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

“The facts are still being established, we still don’t know who exactly was behind the attack,” Hammond is reported to have said. “There were several people involved in this terrorist attack, i.e. there was an element of organization in this. But we have yet to determine if these people received orders externally,” TASS quoted him as saying.

Hammond was in Finland on Wednesday, as part of a scheduled visit to discuss EU reform with the minister of foreign affairs Erkki Tuomioja, as the Paris shooting took place.

The foreign secretary then went on to say “confidently” that the events were “clearly motivated” by events in the Middle East. “What we can currently see happening – the conflict between Western values and destructive ‘values’ of the Islamic State,” said Hammond.

  Wake-Up Call

According to the report, Hammond said the attack in France is a reminder that similar incidents could take place anywhere, and that the effects of the war against IS in Iraq and Syria are spreading throughout the world.

“We support the people of France, we will fight terrorism wherever it manifests itself and will give a response to the threat to our values, our way of life and standard of life,” he said.

Tuomioja added that the tragedy showed “terrorism has no borders” and “nobody is protected from it.

“We must all now strengthen our readiness to repel terrorist attacks, until we have more information.”

When questioned about the speech, a foreign office spokesperson said Hammond had not made an official comment on the Paris shootings, and said the only comment he has made was in a tweet sent on Wednesday, in which he expressed his sadness at the attack.

 Hostage Crisis

French police continued a massive manhunt for two brothers suspected of killing 12 people a day earlier at the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

French security forces faced two rapidly developing hostage-taking situations Friday, one northeast of Paris where two suspects were holed up with a hostage in a printing plant and the other an attack on a supermarket in Paris involving at least five hostages, including children.

Police confirmed that at least two people were killed in the second shootout. The gunman reportedly opened fire in the market declaring “You know who am.”

The assailant is believed to be the same man who killed a policewoman in Montrouge in Paris a day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The policewoman was killed in a shootout with a gunman wearing a bulletproof vest Thursday.

In the hunt for the two brothers, security forces and helicopters have been focusing their efforts on the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, a 12 kilometer drive from Charles De Gaulle Airport.

Police cordoned off the small town, and French news channel France24 reported that 1,000 officers were involved.

Authorities extended France’s maximum terror alert from Paris into the northern Picardie region, focusing on several towns that might be possible safe havens for the two suspects, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the possibility of a new attack “is our main concern”. Tensions were running high in Paris, where 800 extra police patrolled schools, places of worship and transit hubs.

Authorities were focusing their search on the village of Longpont and the neighboring towns of Villiers-Cotterets and Crepy-en-Valois northeast of Paris, according to an official with the national gendarme service.

Said Kouachi left his ID card in the getaway car used after the attack, leading police to his apartment in Reims, which they searched late Wednesday.

A third suspect, Mourad Hamyd, 18, surrendered at a police station after hearing his name linked to the attacks, a Paris prosecutor’s spokeswoman said. His relationship to the Kouachi brothers was unclear.