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Terrorists Identified, Massive Manhunt Underway; Major Police Operation Underway Near Paris

Aired January 7, 2015 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, a major police operation underway right now. A manhunt for three gunman who killed 12 at a Paris magazine. We have the very latest and we'll talk to two eyewitnesses of the deadliest terror attack in France in decades.

Plus hoodies, dressed in black, heavily armed, speaking French. Who were the gunman? And the victims. Editors and cartoonists for a weekly magazine. Why were they targeted for death? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening and welcome to our viewers across the United States and around the world tonight. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we are following the breaking news out of France. A massive manhunt underway tonight. Our French affiliate reports there is a police operation in the city of France, about 90 miles northeast of Paris. You are looking right now at new video.

This is a tactical squad, they're on the hunt at this moment for three suspected gunman who carried out one of the deadliest terror attacks in France, the deadliest we've seen in decades. The highly coordinated attack, it was planned and very coordinated, was on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo. That is a weekly magazine that satirizes politicians and religions including Islam.

The gunman stormed the magazine office during a midday editorial meeting. They killed 12 people, 11 more are wounded. Four of them at this hour said to be in critical condition. Two police officers were among the murdered. One of them, as you see there, shot at point blank as he lay wounded on the sidewalk. As one of the shooters ran to a getaway car he held his finger in the air. You see that there. There is speculation tonight that he may have been signaling unseen accomplices that we do not know yet. Statements of sympathy are pouring into France from around the world. The president of the United States pledged support for what he called one of America's oldest allies.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We see the kind of cowardly evil attacks that took place today. I think it reinforces once again why it is so important for us to stand in solidarity and they stand in solidarity for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: We are covering every angle of this fast moving story. Fred Pleitgen, Hala Gorani are in Paris for us tonight. Jim Sciutto and Barbara Starr are in Washington. We begin with Fred in Paris. And Fred, what can you tell us about the manhunt and the police operation that we understand is going on at this instance?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Erin. Yes. Certainly it's a very large police operation. One of the things that the French president said shortly after this attack took place, he said the authorities here are going to do everything in order to catch the suspect. Now, one of the things that's going on as you've notice, this large operation is going on in the city of Reims which is about one and a half hours North of Paris. And what we've seen from those pictures is that it is a very big police operation and it seems as though the squads there are going from house-to-house searching possibly for the suspect. This operation has been going on for quite a while. At least there have been live pictures for quite a while.

What we don't know yet, Erin, is whether or not any arrests have been made just yet or whether or not they have caught any of these suspects or whether or not they've taken anybody else into custody for questioning. But it is a very big police operation that certainly this nation is focusing on and certainly also one that which we believe is going on for quite a while to come. But again, we do not know whether or not anybody was taken into custody, we do know that at this point in time, the French authorities are looking for three individuals, two of them are brothers and all of them appeared to be of French nationality. But very little beyond that but again, the French authorities say, they have I.D'd the people that they are looking for and now they're just trying to find them, they believe they could be up there in Reims.

BURNETT: Pretty incredible that they couldn't even gotten that far when you think about how many people, the video that we have of this. What happened?

Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much. He's going to be picking up the anchoring here in a couple of hours on CNN. Reminiscent in a sense of what the world saw with the Boston manhunt after the bombing there. That of course ended in a dramatic shootout as the French police are now desperately searching for these three men. This happened in the span of roughly 35 minutes. The terrorists came into the building, shot and killed 12 people and then they escaped. How did they do that?

Hala Gorani is OUTFRONT from Paris tonight with a look at how the gruesome attack unfolded.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Heavily armed gunman burst into a lunch time editorial meeting in the office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, opening fire in all directions. To gain entrance, the gunman asked two maintenance men for the Charlie Hebdo offices, and then opened fire killing one of them. One witness described the scene for the BBC. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As we progressed into the office, we saw that the

number of casualties was very high. There was a lot of people dead on the floor and there was blood everywhere, really.

GORANI: Many in the building ran to the roof. This video shows the attackers as they fled.


FRANCOIS MOLINS (ph), FRENCH PROSECUTOR (THROUGH A TRANSLATOR): According to a witness, they shouted Allah Akbar and they said they are taking revenge against the prophet.

GORANI: The gunman hooded masked dressed in black and speaking in French. During the escaped video captured one of the gunman executing a policeman as he lay on the ground. Approaching the getaway car, a gunman can be seen raising his finger in the air. A western source says, authorities are speculating he may have been signaling to another car or more attackers. Among the dead, a number of cartoonists for Charlie Hebdo. A weekly that is well known for lampooning a variety of public figures and faiths, sometimes mocking Islamic terrorists and the Prophet Mohammed. Those cartoons sparked protests and in 2011 their offices were fire bombed. In 2013, al Qaeda's magazine inspire published a wanted dead or alive poster that included one of the magazine's cartoonist. He was killed in today's attack. And shortly after the shooting, police impounded what is believed to be the getaway car.

PATRICK KLUGMAN, PARIS DEPUTY MAYOR: They did change car after the attack. And three of them apparently escaped very quietly.

GORANI: By nightfall across France, people are expressing their grief and solidarity, silently holding this sign, I am Charlie.


GORANI: And I'm here, about 200 yards away Erin from the scene of the attack where these people were massacred just a few hours ago and this France is a nation truly in shock but also wanting to show defiance in the face of terrorism. It is the middle of the week, that is past midnight and it is freezing and despite all these conditions, tens of thousands of people have gathered very publicly to say Je suis Charlie I am Charlie. In other words showing solidarity with the victims and the victims' families and also wanting to tell the world that they see this as an attack not just on their country but against something they hold very dear, which is their freedom of expression, their freedom, their ability to mock, to satirize that this is something they hold very dear as a value and they don't want terrorists to tell them how to live their lives -- Erin.

BURNETT: Hala, thank you so much. As the president of France, Francois Hollande said today. Liberty and freedom worldwide have been attacked today. Our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is been working with sources in Washington obviously alert across the United States on the back of this horrific attack as well. Jim, what are you finding out about who did this? Who is behind this? We know at this point there are three individuals they are looking for. Is that the tip of the iceberg? What do we know about them?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now the focused on these three individuals. We know from multiple U.S. officials, the French authorities have shared these identifications with the suspect with U.S. officials, these three men, two brothers, age 32 and 34, a third man age 19. That they've shared this identifications and details with U.S. officials to run through U.S. data bases so they could learn more about their past. Have they crossed paths with them before, either French European or U.S. authorities. There are also clear indications tonight Erin, that they are zeroing in on these targets. One of course these operations underway just to the northeast of Paris. But also, the I.D.s known, looking into their past and I was told by one official that it is likely that this will be resolved fairly soon in light of all that information.

BURNETT: And Jim, do they believe, you know, one of the things that they've talked about, look, they were masked, they had a getaway plan, it was planned, it was not lone wolf. It was organized. This is very different from anything that we have seen. If for example, this is not anything like Sydney. Do these officials believe there is a tie to a larger terror group or sell at this point?

SCIUTTO: They don't know yet. But they are exploring those ties. And I've been told by a senior counter terror official that they are exploring possible ties to a groups such as ISIS but also core al Qaeda and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. You remember Erin that one witness to the scene said that one of the gunman shouted to her as he fled, tell the media that we are al Qaeda in Yemen. That would be the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Not definitive at this point.

But I'll tell you when you look at this attack, you see very experienced fighters, fighters that either had training or combat experience or both. I've been told this by multiple officials, former members of the military, the way they handled their weapons, their level of comfort, even their brutality as they've executed one of the policeman on the ground. But one thing to be clear, some of those signs point to one group more than the others. It looks a bit more al Qaeda than attacks we've seen with is, et cetera. But one thing that is clear for any of these groups, this would be an unprecedented m.o. and target and therefore very worrisome.

BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much. And Jim talking about the weapons and the training.

We have a special report that we're just getting new information in about what we are able to tell with some of the bullet holes and the way they held in terms of how these men were trained and how well they may have been prepared, who might have done it.

Barbara Starr has that in just a few moments. But I want to go now to Wandrille Lanos, one of the first people to ender the Charlie Hebdo offices immediately following the attack. I know Wandrille that you've witnessed the horrific aftermath. I appreciate you coming on and talking to us because I know it must be incredibly difficult. What can you tell us about what that scene looked like when you got there?

WANDRILLE LANOS, EYEWITNESS TO CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACK AFTERMATH: Well basically, I arrived at my office a bit a later than usual today and as I got there, I realized that one of my colleagues was down the building and he was shouting and crying out for help. So I ran up the stairs, I went with him. And there was a very strong smell of gunpowder in the corridor. And Charlie Hebdo's offices are actually right across the hall from my own office. So just we went directly in. I called the police and they said that they were already on their way. So then we went in, we tried to attend to a few people that were there. There were already -- there was already a doctor at the scene and he was sort of taking sort of things in charge, if you will.

And then someone in another room, a bit further down their corridor in their offices, was calling out for help so with a few colleagues of mine we decided to get in. We pulled some of the furniture out of the main room to sort of make a bit of room for the emergency teams that were sort of arriving at the scene at the time. And well, I have to tell you that it was very disturbing to see that second room where the corpse were actually lying down on the floor.

BURNETT: And they were all there? You saw the injuries and you saw what happened? Could you ever have imagined, I know there have been threats, we just showed an al Qaeda magazine that one of the individuals, one of the most famous satirist in France had been on that wanted list, I know there had been securities for them. Is this something you ever were concerned about or did it never cross your mind that something could happen?

LANOS: Well, to be honest, when Charlie Hebdo moved in right across from our offices, we realized that there was a police patrol car that was stationed down at the entrance of the building, you know, every day, every night. And after a few months, we realized that the car sometimes would go away and sometimes would be back and you know, they would sort of patrol around the building to make sure that everything was sort of safe for everybody there. And we would sort of joke with my colleagues that maybe for us this car was not needed because we felt like that they had attack Charlie Hebdo once, and we were thinking that, you know, why in hell -- or how in hell could it happen once again. And yet it did. It is very difficult for us right now to sort of, you know, to make some kind of understanding of the whole situation that unfolded today.

BURNETT: All right. Wandrille, thank you so much. That gives us perhaps just a small sense of what it is like to go to work, as he did, and walk in and as he said, see that room full of corpses.

OUTFRONT next, who are the gunman behind the attack? We are learning a lot more about them at this hour. Where they came from. Yes, they were speaking French. Had they been in Syria? The brothers, the cells, possibility, all of this. Our special report coming up. And now the terrorists. How had they alluded police for more than 12 hours after an attack witnessed by so many? And exit witness by so many? And the attack focused on cartoonists and editors at a satirical weekly magazine, why this magazine?


BURNETT: Now, the breaking news on the terror attack in Paris today. At this hour, a massive manhunt under way for three masked, the gunman who just hours ago unleashed the deadliest attack on France in decades. As we speak, a French tactical unit is in the northeastern city of Reims. French media reporting the city is home to at least one of the gunman who killed 12 people today. The attack took place at the office of Charlie Hebdo, that is a weekly satirical magazine that had published satire cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad consider blasphemous by some Muslims. Now investigators are working to determine who was behind the attack and a motive. What we understand from sources is that they believe this was planned. That this was not the sort of lone wolf attack that we have seen in other places as of late.

Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT live at the Pentagon. Barbara, I know you are learning a lot more about these terrorists, what are you able to tell us?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now authorities are trying to look at every cool about who the men are, where they may have been, who was behind the attack. Right now the problem is, this attack does not match up to anything they've seen in the past.


STARR (voice-over): The attackers shockingly and brazenly carry out multiple target assassinations in midday Paris, calmly killing again and again. French authorities have now identified three suspects. One age 18, the others age 32 and 33 are brothers. The details chilling.

KLUGMAN: They were calling them names and shooting them. They were killing them. It was kind of an execution.

STARR: U.S. intelligence analysts scanning every frame of the video have been struck by how well organized the men were.

LT. COL. JAMES REESE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Someone knew where to pinpoint the building, someone knew where to go inside of the building. They knew when someone was going to be there. Those four cartoonists and the editor, they were targeted. I think the other people were collateral damage next to them.

STARR: A key question, were the men self-radicalized or with some group behind the attack. Where were they trained?

REESE: I think someone else hired these folks. They don't want to be seen. They're professionals. That is a game-changer.

STARR: Another key question, who wanted these satirists dead. Al- Qaeda in Yemen -- magazine had already a called for killing the publications editorial director, he was among the dead. But the overall pattern of this attack doesn't match what has been seen before from militant groups. Al Qaeda in Yemen has inspired other attackers but mainly using bombs. ISIS and Syria and Iraq has mainly focused on the fighting there. Though in May a lone gunman with ties to ISIS opened fire at the Jewish museum in Brussels killing three. He quickly fled but was caught in France underscoring the worry attackers can move quickly in Europe. If ISIS inspired these attackers, it will come as a surprise.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, the key indicators are number one, ISIS has said don't cover your face. Number two, all of the terrorists in this event are wearing uniforms. Number three, it appears they've been training for a much longer time than what you might suspect.


BURNETT: Barbara, you talk about the training, that they were well- trained and I heard there you were talking to someone who said that could be a game-changer in and of itself, that they were professional, that they knew what they were doing. What do you know about the training?

STARR: Well I've been talking to officials who have been looking at these videos and one sources telling me, look at the video of the bullet holes in the glass. I think we can show that to our viewers. This perhaps indicates a very controlled shooting of very heavy weapons. AK-47, Kalashnikov type weapons. The bullet holes are controlled. People who are not experience shooters who would carry these weapons that weigh a good deal. The weapon would drift upwards. They can't control their fire and you would see a pattern of bullet holes going upward. In this case you do not see that, you see a very controlled shooting, it is an indication perhaps that these men knew exactly what they were doing and they knew how to carry it out -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Barbara Starr, thank you very much. A significant detail there on the bullet holes. And I want to bring Chris Dickey now, he's the Paris based foreign editor for "The Daily Beast." And our counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd. I appreciate both of you being with us. Christopher, you are in Paris. Let me start with you. There are more than 1,000 surveillance cameras in Paris and this happened at a magazine that had been threatened before and there were police on the scene trying to fight back, how is it that these men have been able to evade being caught over 13 hours?

CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, FOREIGN EDITOR, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well I think they are very good at what they did. They just went from one car hijacking to another until they got a car to get away from the police without being easily traced. Obviously the police were able to catch up with -- or seemed to have caught up with at least some of them where an operation is ongoing now. They made one big mistake apparently according to the French press, which is when they transferred from one of the cars to another of the cars, they left some of their I.D. documents behind. That is how the police figured out rather quickly who they were.

But that said, they still made it to Reims and some of them may make it out of Reims. I expect we'll hear about shootouts later in the night. This looks like one of those classic situations where the police do catch up with terrorists, corner them and the terrorists have to decide whether they want to die fighting or be arrested.

BURNETT: As I said, reminiscent of what happened that the world saw with the Boston shootouts, with the Boston bombings. Interesting that you point out, that they may have found out those I.D.s from when they switched cars and left their identification and which would show if they were professional, a level of disorientation of fear that they were pressure -- they were feeling at that time. Phil, the thing is here --

DICKEY: Yes. I don't buy that they are professional --

BURNETT: You don't buy that, okay.

DICKEY: I don't buy that they are professional hit men, no, no, no, no. I think they are very probably people who went and fought in Syria.

BURNETT: Which some of what we're hearing is -- may be the case.

DICKEY: I'm sorry.

BURNETT: No, that's okay Christopher, we have a bit of a delay. Don't worry about it. Phil, you know, one of the things here, some people aren't aware of -- some the strongest terror intelligence in the world especially when it comes to Islamic extremism. They do. Which is why some people were really surprised that these happened and that these men have been able to go undetected for hours after the shooting. They now know who the three men are. As Christopher just saying, 18, 32 and 34-years-old, two of them are brothers. So, at this point, how do they track them now? We understand that in this northeastern city they have now been going house-to-house.

PHILIP MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Yes. You are looking at a lot of data that can you acquire very quickly based on the identifications, that data things like e-mails, phone, et cetera, is going to tell you who their contacts were, you can immediately figure out where friends and family live. So, within 24 hours or utmost 24 hours, one day after an event like this, in my experience, you will going to have so much data, everything from minor things, ATM transactions to really significant information. Again e-mails that you can draw a web of understanding around somebody's network to locate them very quickly in the 21st century.

BURNETT: Christopher, you talked about how you know, you believe there will be some sort of a shootout that we will get resolution to this in Reims tonight, in that city about 90 minutes northeast of Paris. You also though just said perhaps somebody might be able to escape and get out of Reims. How far do you think they could get?

DICKEY: Well it depends on how well-connected they are and how smart they are. I don't think they can get very far with the dragnet that's out now. This is not just an isolated incident and the whole world is paying attention and every, every security service in Europe is on extremely high alert. These seems to have had a getaway plan to get away from the scene of the crime but they don't seem to have figured out exactly what their long-term goal would be, how to get out of the country. Now, you can you travel around Europe pretty easily. But Europe is not blind to people like this and circumstances like this.

BURNETT: Phil, quickly before we go, are you surprised that they weren't apprehended right away?

MUDD: No. I wasn't. Look, if you have an escape plan that we didn't see in cases like that Ottawa case where somebody just went in and shot up the parliament, they can get away, I agree with Chris, for maybe a few hours but not for the long-term. I wouldn't surprise they could have escaped, I would be surprised if they are gone for too long.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much to both of you. We appreciate it.

And next the people killed in today's attack worked for a magazine that had been targeted by extremist in the past. Why is Charlie Hebdo so controversial? We'll going to show you exactly what it is that they do. And this attack was organized with almost military precision. It was not a lone wolf. It is completely different than anything we've seen in the past few months. Is it a game-changer?


BURNETT: Welcome to our viewers around the world as we continue to follow breaking news of the deadly terrorist attack in Paris today. At this moment, France on alert. A massive manhunt under way at this moment. A police operation is focusing on the city of Reims, about 90 miles from Paris. Paris of course where the terrorist attack took place earlier today. We are learning new information from a doctor who treated the victims. This is just in. I want to share with you what we're finding out. He is saying to us, that the gunman asked for specific people by name and then shot them. Then separated men from women. And then used a big caliber bullets, the doctor is saying that, resulted in what he called, quote-unquote, "horrible wounds", also describing the gunman, the shots that he saw as pretty professional.

Officials are zeroing in on three suspects at this hour, including two brothers who they believe stormed the office of the Paris magazine armed with assault rifles and opened fire. We've just heard, you know, French media had been reporting that part of the reason they were able to get the identity of these people is that they, when they were switching from car to car, and they escaped, left some of their identity papers on the seat. They're also talking about one of the gunman may have had a rocket launcher.


BURNETT: Twelve people have died, 11 injured. Most of them journalists and cartoonists who worked for the satirical magazine that is famous for mocking the Muslim Prophet Mohammed. Tonight in Paris, peaceful protests and condemnations from around the world. In Paris, thousands of people gathering on a frigid night holding up pens in support of free speech.

Hala Gorani is live in Paris tonight.

And, Hala, authorities were aware of threats on this magazine. I know that at one point, they had a police officer actually stationed on the street outside when they moved to these offices.

How were the attackers able to penetrate the offices seemingly so easily?

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in fact, one of the editors killed had a personal security with him in the newsroom and that man was gunned down as well.

We are just really a few yards away from where this all happened, behind me, the offices of "Charlie Hebdo", near Paris. And this is where the carnage took place where 12 people were killed, ten inside of the building. Two -- one on the ground floor, ten inside of the newsroom and then a policeman who was executed, essentially shot in the head when the gunman made their getaway.

You mentioned that there is an operation that is occurring right now underway in Reims, that's about 100 miles away from Paris. There is no confirmation however that arrests had been made or that, in fact, any police operation resulted in the death of a new suspect. And the reports have been out but the Paris police are not confirming that at this stage.

Right now, it's a lot quieter and almost 2:00 in the morning here in Paris, but as you mentioned across the city, we are still seeing people coming out and demonstrating in solidarity with the victims today, Erin.

BURNETT: Just pretty incredible that, as you said, Hala, on such a cold night with the people fearing, that they are out and telling the world that they are not afraid.

You know, as Hala said, you know, there were thousands of people, some of them saying not afraid, in light, out in the middle of the streets and Parisians also laying flowers at the scene of the deadly attack on the "Charlie Hebdo" headquarters. Some of the most revered and controversial cartoonists in Frances were among the 12 who are murdered today.

Now, "Charlie Hebdo" is a left wing magazine, as we said, a satirical magazine. It has long been a target for its religious satire. Many Muslims have considered it offensive.

Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): God is great, a common Muslim religious saying hijacked as a war cry for Islamic extremists. Their target today, an old one, the left-wing, sharply opinionated at times vulgar, razor-witted Paris weekly, "Charlie Hebdo".

"This is an act against freedom of expression", says the French President Francois Hollande.

The magazine taking on not only Islam, but all religion, politics, business, power of any sort. It's a sort of "Onion", "Daily Show" and "The Nation" with a distinctly vulgar tinge.

In 2011, "Charlie Hebdo" was fire bombed after it published a special "Sharia Hebdo" as in Sharia law edition, listing the Prophet Mohammed as guest editor.

Renald Luzier was the cartoonist for that 2011 issue. He survived today's attack.

RENALD "LUZ" LUZIER, CHARLIE HEBDO CARTOONIST: Everybody can have their own interpretation.

MARQUEZ: In 2013, al Qaeda specifically called for the death of the magazine's editor.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It's been a big target for jihadist over the years.

MARQUEZ: In 2006, the magazine republished Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed, inviting lawsuits and anger from some in the Muslim community.

CRUICKSHANK: There is a belief that you shouldn't be able to even draw images of the Prophet Mohammed or god.

MARQUEZ: "Charlie Hebdo" didn't limit its critical wit to Mohammed, it mocked niqab or full face veil worn by Muslim women. France banned women from covering their faces publicly in 2010. The magazine, equal opportunity in its wit, Mohammed, Jesus, Judaism, all religion got the same treatment.

In 2012, the magazine mocked reaction to the ultra low budget film "Innocence of Muslims" portraying Mohammed as a womanizer and child molester. The film incensed Muslims, causing protests and dozens of worldwide. Editor Stephane Charbonnier died in today's attack.

STEPHANE CHARBONNIER: It's provocation. It's been 20 years since we've been doing provocation and it's been notice only when we talk about Islam or part of Islam, which raises problems in a minority.

MARQUEZ: Today, that minority struck. But if you look at "Charlie Hebdo's" Web site and social media worldwide, you see, "I am Charlie Hebdo," in seven languages, including Arabic everywhere.

And what the attackers hope to kill, they've only made stronger.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BURNETT: And OUTFRONT tonight, our global affairs analyst Bobby Ghosh, also the managing editor of the online news site, Quartz; and retired FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente.

Bobby, as we are trying to understand more who did this, why they did it, and this manhunt that is going on at this hour, as they are hunting down these three individuals that they are looking for, they had an exit strategy, they had their faces covered, their hands covered. You heard Barbara Starr reporting they were trained in how they were shooting, they had a getaway plan.

What does that tell you about them?

BOBBY GHOSH, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, they came to kill and not to die. This is not a suicide operation. And the fact they planned to get away makes them quite different from what we've seen before. It is also not a lone wolf. It is not one person, it's three, if you like to coin the phrase, it is a wolf pack rather than a wolf.

What we don't know yet and we'll find out quickly is how much they were influenced by events outside of France, how much were they influenced by ISIS or al Qaeda. Did they actually go -- there's some report suggesting that at least one of them may have traveled to Syria at one point. We'll find out about that.

But there is a large Muslim community in France and there are radical groups within that community, just as there are radical groups almost anywhere.

BURNETT: Tim, we are finding out, as you just heard, we spoke to a doctor who actually was there in the moments after the horrific attack, he reported from the victims he spoke to that the gunman asked for specific individuals by name, then separated them into men and women and then went execution style murdering the ones that they were looking for. What does that tell you?

TIM CLEMENTE, RETIRED FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: Well, it tells me they had a target list and they had intel that the individuals would be there or they would expect to see them there. Obviously, the al Qaeda list put out in "Inspire" magazine with the one editor's face. That's an easy one. I don't know if they had images of the others that may have been published prior, so they could have picked some of them out.

It means they were very, very methodic in who they were going after, separating the women. They were probably just trying to just show that they were being polite in some way. Obviously, we look at other Islamic extremist attacks in the last couple of years, the school children, 132 of them were assassinated at the Pakistani school, and the Westgate Mall attack in September 2013 where 30 or 40 children were killed.

So, I mean, Islamic extremist for as far back as they are doing this and they have been unfortunately tarring the name of Islam around the world, and by doing something like this, maybe they are trying to recoup the terrible reputation that ISIS and other groups have built up.

BURNETT: So, Tim, there was obviously a level of sophistication in attack and our Barbara Starr was reporting from sources she's keeping to, they were actually looking at the bullet holes and said if you were not trained, the gun is such that your shot would have drifted up and they clearly were trained because they were able to kept the shots exactly where they wanted them, very tight. That shows a level of sophistication on some level.

Does it indicate to you there are more than three people here, that there is something bigger?

CLEMENTE: Yes, they may have trained with other people. They may have support structure. I mean, the fact that they had muzzle discipline, that is what we call that, when they weren't just spraying and spraying from the hip and letting the gun rise up as it goes in full automatic. They were doing short burst most likely, or select fire of individual shots.

The groups looked pretty tight in some of the glass that I saw shot up, so that's an indication they've trained. You look at film of terrorists embattled around the world, and they are spraying machine guns. These people trained for an event to kill people. That's what they were trying to do. Not just spray bullets.


GHOSH: Absolutely. The planning and demeanor and in the little video we saw suggests these people are familiar with the use of weapons and that there is no random shooting. You don't see walls sprayed with bullets, which you often do in cases like this. They were not randomly shooting passersby or blowing up cars. These were very targeted shots taken. And they knew what they were doing.

BURNETT: Thank you very much to both of you. Of course, they also point blank shot a policeman there when he was already wounded and as they were entering the building, you'll hear about the man in charge of letting everyone in every morning. They just shot him point blank as well.

Next, in wake of the most deadliest terror attack on the West in years, the United States.

And we'll talk to a man who knew many of the victims. He was on his way to work when the shooting happened today.


BURNETT: And the breaking news out of France: tonight, authorities are combing a city just outside Paris for three masked terrorists who stormed a French satirical magazine and opened fire, slaughtering 12 people at an editorial meeting. Some of the magazine's cartoons are known for ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed. Some Muslims considered that blasphemous.

The attack is the worst assault in France in decades. So far, no group has claimed responsibility. There have been 14 hours that have passed since the executions which is a fair word to describe what this was. And at this hour, we have nothing to indicate that any of the men have been apprehended.

OUTFRONT now, Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Chairman Royce, thank you so much for being with us tonight. What can tell us? What do you know about these terrorists?

REP. ED ROYCE (R), CALIFORNIA: Well, what we do know is they are taking credit for being part of al Qaeda in Yemen and we also know they were obviously very well-trained. I think one of the other obvious points here is that there's going to be a huge backlash in Europe. The French enlightenment is based upon satire, their playwrights, their journalists, you know, since the first republic, have pushed the idea of freedom of speech. And this is such an assault on that concept.

And so, I expect a real dialogue across Europe in terms of what al Qaeda has been able to do, and al Qaeda affiliates have been able to do. We should remember that France also has pushed al Qaeda out of Mali, has engaged them in Niger, in Chad, in Mauritania. So, the French have been on the front lines against these terrorist organizations.

BURNETT: It's fair to say that. They have been on the front lines. They've been more aggressive than the United States in some cases, known for some of the best counterterror in the world on this issue, which is why some are so surprised that this happened at a magazine that had already been threatened and 14 hours have gone by and these individuals have been able to escape.

Do you have any sense of the intelligence on where these men might be?

ROYCE: No. And we've talked in the past to the French and their capabilities, their intelligence capabilities to monitor conversations and so forth are very extensive. So, clearly, this al Qaeda-trained group were very, very careful in their execution of this attack. And to be able to get past the French authorities indicates that this is really a cracked team, very well-trained al Qaeda operatives.

BURNETT: Do you have any sense of the threat here in the United States? As we know, security has been beefed in some cities.

ROYCE: No, we do not have any reports of any activity in the United States. However, security precautions are being taken across the United States and across Europe.

BURNETT: All right. Chairman, thank you so much for your time.

ROYCE: Absolutely.

BURNETT: And next, we're going to talk to an eyewitness who came on the horrific scene of the shooting. And we'll remember the journalists, the editors and cartoonists. They

are each human beings with stories and we will tell you what we know about them tonight.


BURNETT: Breaking news: a manhunt under way to try and capture the three terrorists suspected of killing -- executing is the right word -- 12 people and wounding 11 more in Paris today. The focus right now is on city of Reims in northeast France, that is where officials believe the suspects fled after executing their gruesome attack on the "Charlie Hebdo" offices.

OUTFRONT tonight, Paul Moreira. He's head of the film agency right across the hall from the "Charlie Hebdo" offices. He knew many of the victims.

And, Paul, thank you so much for doing this. I know you are exhausted. You were with some of the survivors. You were on your way to the office when this happened.

What did you see when you arrived?

PAUL MOREIRA, EYEWITNESS TO CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACK AFTERMATH: First thing, I saw when I arrived, I'd been warned by text that there were people shooting in the corridors and the first thing I saw was the doormen. The men I would see every morning.

This grumpy guy that we liked and appreciated, he was lying down in his blood, and he was dead. He had been shot by the gunners. They wanted to go inside as quick as possible. It wasn't fast enough to open the door of the building and they shot him.

And the second thing I saw was the stairways were full of blood and I saw heavily injured people in the stairways, among them, one of my friends, a guy I knew for 20 years (INAUDIBLE). Got two bullets in his legs and, in each leg.

And then I got up to the office and they were a few survivors from "Charlie Hebdo", (INAUDIBLE) in one room. They were in one room, some of them crying hysterically. Some of them were like frustrated and not capable of saying anything, saying a word. It was very heavy moment of tension.

BURNETT: And, Paul, when you saw your friend that you say you've known for more than 20 years, who was shot in the legs and you saw these survivors that you said you were sheltering in your office, you know, what did they say to you and what went through your mind? Were you able to comprehend what had happened?

MOREIRA: Yes. Actually, we knew that "Charlie Hebdo" was at risk when the locals working with us told me there were gunshots in the corridor. I had no doubt "Charlie Hebdo" was attacked, because "Charlie Hebdo" is a (INAUDIBLE) weekly that had been threatened already by fundamentalists and they'd been already bombed. When they arrived in the building a year ago, they had police crew down the building being there day and nights, and the police crew was there up until September. And in September, they were removed and there was nobody to protect them anymore.

So, we thought, you know, maybe they know what they're doing and think like the little dangerous lesson, but facts have proven that it was not true.

BURNETT: Paul, thank you so much again for taking the time to share your story after such a horrible day. Thank you.

MOREIRA: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, we're going to look at the brave journalists who lost their lives today.


BURNETT: And breaking news at this moment: we are learning new details about the terror attack in Paris today. A doctor who treated the victims at the scene of the aftermath tells us of the gunman asked for specific people by name. He separated the magazine staff by gender. The doctor says the shooting was not a random spray of bullets but a precision execution.

Tonight, we pay tribute to those lost.


CHARBONNIER (through translator): One has the impression everybody is driven by fear. That's what the small handful of fundamentals that doesn't represent anyone does. Govern through fear.

BURNETT (voice-over): That's controversial journalist and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb. He was one of 12 people killed by terrorists, targeting the offices of satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo".

The 47-year-old was under police protection due to threats from Islamic extremists over his work, which featured cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed considered blasphemous by many Muslims. But he was unafraid. Once saying he'd, quote, "rather die than live standing on his knees."

We know the names of six of the 12 who die today. Cartoonist Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski, Philippe Honore and Bernard Verlhac, who signed his controversial pictures "Tignous". Also reportedly killed, Bernard Maris, an economist, writer and the magazine's deputy editor.

The deputy mayor of Paris called them the famous cartoonists in France.

Speaking to the people of France today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that America stands with the French people.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremist and the cause in which the extremists fear so much and which has always united our two countries -- freedom.

BURNETT: In a surge of emotion, thousands taking to the streets of Paris on this cold night, telling the world they are not afraid. Cartoonists worldwide also showing support.

This one by well-known American satirist Jeff Danzinger, showing the weakness of terrorists shooting unarmed journalists. The terrorist in this picture armed with smoking guns, saying, wait, look, a man with a pencil.

"Charlie Hebdo" has now posted a statement in seven languages including Arabic. It reads, "I am Charlie."


BURNETT: And as we said, there are 12 who were murdered, executed today. We do not yet know all of their names, but all of them are in the prayers of many around the world tonight.

Thank you very much for joining us. "AC360" continues our breaking news coverage here on CNN worldwide. It begins right now.

Here's Wolf Blitzer.