NEW YORK — When terrorists shot up the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine back on Jan. 7 — followed by a deadly, hostage situation at a kosher market — the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Counter-Terrorism, John Miller, thought it was important to meet his Parisian counter-parts.
So Miller put together a team from New York and Los Angeles and flew to Paris.
“This is a new kind of offender,” Miller explained to us in April, when he showed PIX11 Investigates photos from his meetings in Europe. He talked about a phenomenon known as The Active Shooter.
“What we learned is most shooting and killing happens in the first five or six minutes of the attack,” Miller said.
The Charlie Hebdo assault stunned the world community. Brothers Saïd and Cherif Kouachi, dressed all in black, said they belonged to Al Qaeda in Yemen, before launching their rapid gunfire assault on editors and cartoonists at the satirical magazine. They also shot a security officer and a police officer outside — who they finished off on the sidewalk. The brothers said they wanted to punish the magazine for publishing cartoons they believed mocked the Prophet Mohammed. 12 people were killed at Charlie Hebdo offices and 11 were wounded.
But the carnage wasn’t over.
One of their associates, Amedy Coulibaly, shot a French policewoman the next day. He then took more than a dozen hostages at a kosher market, killing four of them. When SWAT teams raided the market, they killed Coulibaly, as the surviving, terrified hostages fled.
Couibaly had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Earlier that same day, French police closed in on the Kouachi brothers and killed them, too.
In the months that followed, three French soldiers guarding a Jewish community center in Nice were stabbed by Moussa Couibaly, who was not related to the terrorist from the January attack.
In April, an Algerian jihadist unsuccessfully targeted two churches. In June, a delivery driver beheaded a man at a gas factory. Then, in August, an attempted mass shooting on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.
Two American servicemen and one of their friends tackled the would-be terrorist and stopped him in his tracks.
The French government honored them with the Legion of Honor, and President Barack Obama later saluted them in Washington, D.C.
And now, on Friday, Nov. 13, mass carnage, with synchronized attacks at a soccer stadium, restaurants and a concert hall.