Terrorists Fear Freedom of the Press: President Obama

President Barack Obama meets with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in the Oval Office, Jan. 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
President Barack Obama meets with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in the Oval Office, Jan. 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Following the terrorist attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris on Wednesday, President Obama condemned the attack.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time. France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world,” said Obama in a White House statement released Wednesday.

Charlie Hebdo (or Charlie Weekly), which is known for inviting controversies by publishing sensational content ridiculing different religions, was earlier attacked by Muslim extremists in 2011 when it carried a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.

On Wednesday, just before the attack by terrorists on its office killing at least 11 people, Charlie Hebdo had tweeted a cartoon of the Islamic State militant group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

President Obama and Vice President Biden met with Secretary of State Kerry. In remarks before the meeting, the President expressed his deepest sympathies, and explained how the Paris shooting was an attack on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.

“The fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom — of speech and freedom of the press,” Obama said.

President Obama also called French President François Hollande to offer condolences and express solidarity in the wake of the attack.

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Rakesh Raman