John Kerry Justifies Terror Attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris Remarks

John Kerry
John Kerry / AP
November 17, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to justify the terror attacks on the headquarters of magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris earlier this year during remarks in the capital of France Tuesday.

The Weekly Standard reported that Kerry distinguished the terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo from the shootings and suicide bombings in Paris Friday for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

"There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of--not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that," Kerry said in Paris Tuesday.

"This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, ‘Here we are.’ And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance? That we’re not who they are?"

"They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it’s indiscriminate. They kill Shia. They kill Yezidis. They kill Christians. They kill Druze. They kill Ismaili. They kill anybody who isn’t them and doesn’t pledge to be that," Kerry continued.

"And they carry with them the greatest public display of misogyny that I’ve ever seen, not to mention a false claim regarding Islam. It has nothing to do with Islam; it has everything to do with criminality, with terror, with abuse, with psychopathism--I mean, you name it."

Gunmen shot and killed 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris on Jan. 7, four of them well-known cartoonists with the magazine and two of them police officers. The magazine is known for its cartoons of Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

Witnesses heard the attackers yelling "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad" and "God is Great" in Arabic. The gun attacks gave way to days of heightened security and police operations in Paris.

Following the assault on Charlie Hebdo, the Obama administration refused to describe the perpetrators as supporters of "radical Islam."

Published under: John Kerry , Terrorism