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7th Rangers: The carnage inside Charlie Hebdo: an eyewitness’s account of the attack


 
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The carnage inside Charlie Hebdo: an eyewitness’s account of the attack
Saturday, November 23, 2019
The slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo staff tells us much about the depths of radical Islam.
The Spectator : It is almost five years since two trained jihadists went into the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and killed 12 people. On the morning of the attack, Lançon had been weighing up whether to go to Charlie or to Libération, where he also worked.
He chose to go to Charlie, whose difficult, brilliant, brave team had kept producing the magazine, despite a decade of growing attention from Europe’s modern-day blasphemy police. The magazine was dragged through the French courts by various French Muslim organizations and in 2011 the offices were firebombed. Lançon recalls that around this time, ‘not without shame’ he stopped reading Charlie on the Paris metro. But the editor, Stephane Charbonnier (‘Charb’), refused to budge. Lançon recalls Charb telling him over wine one evening: ‘If we start respecting people who don’t respect us, we might as well close up shop.’
The editorial meeting was arguing about Michel Houellebecq’s new novel Submission when they heard ‘a sharp sound like a firecracker’ and the first screams. Lançon recalls Charb’s state-assigned bodyguard, Franck, heading to the door of the editorial office and starting to draw his gun, but not in time. He describes the shots, the ‘Allahu Akbars’ and the ‘foggy, precise and detached’ horror that occurred all around him. Lançon himself was shot several times, one bullet smashing through his jaw. Lying on the office floor he recalls two black legs and the tip of a rifle beside him, the pool of blood around his head presumably persuading the killers that he, like his colleagues, was dead.
The details are almost unbearable. Lançon relates, for instance, how he could not stop staring at the opened brains of his brilliant colleague, Bernard Maris. Realizing Lançon was alive, some surviving colleagues and then the emergency services tended to him and carried him out:
‘They took one of the armchairs that was in the room and put me on it, then lifted me up. As I remember it, the chair had legs with casters on them, as is often the case in newspaper offices. Two men carried it, while a third held my legs. I had insisted on keeping my backpack with me. They carried me off slowly, though rather quickly, and for the first and last time I passed over some of my dead companions.’
Lançon has lived and worked in a number of Arab countries, and is keen to stress his friendships with Arabs and their countries. Still, he understandably describes how he cannot now hear the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ without wanting to vomit ‘in disgust, sarcasm and boredom’.
The description of his recovery is intimate and relentless. The missing lower part of his face needed total reconstruction, including skin grafts. War wounds like this weren’t then common in Paris, but Lançon was still in hospital the following November when coordinated suicide and Kalashnikov attacks took place across the city. His surgeon is with him the next day. ‘We’ll have to learn to live like the Lebanese,’ she says. ‘And I used to pity them.’
Read it all here.................
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:33 PM  
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