“And yes, I am Charlie. Not only because they made us laugh; but because they were sacrificial lambs in a much nastier, gruesome, never-ending shadowplay.”
Careful planning and preparation; Kalashnikovs; rocket-propelled grenade launcher; balaclavas; sand-colored ammunition vest stuffed with spare magazines; army boots; piece of cake escape in a black Citroen. And the icing on the lethal cake; faultless Paris-based logistical support to pull that off. A former top French military commander, Frederic Gallois, has stressed the perfect application of "urban guerrilla technique" (where are those notorious Western counter-terrorism "experts" when one needs them?)
They might have spoken perfect French; others said it was broken French. Anyway, what matters is that they uttered the magic word; "We're al-Qaeda." Better yet; they told a man in the street, "Tell the media that this is al-Qaeda in Yemen", which means, in American terror terminology, al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), which had Charlie Hebdo's editor/cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier ("Charb") on a hit list duly promoted by AQAP's glossy magazine Inspire. Accusation: "Insulting the Prophet Mohammed."
And just to make sure everyone had the perpetrators implanted on their brain, the killers also said, "Allahu Akbar"; "We have killed Charlie Hebdo"; and "We have avenged the Prophet."
Case closed? Well, it took only a few hours for French police to identify the (usual?) suspects; French-Algerian brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi. The third man - the alleged driver of the black Citroen, 18-year-old H*** M*** - then turned himself in with an ironclad alibi. So the third man remains a cipher.
They all wore balaclavas. The Kouachi brothers have not been captured. But the police seem to know very well who they are. Because they found an abandoned ID in the black Citroen (oh, the troubles of being a command in a rush ...) How come they didn't know anything before the carnage?