JeSuisAhmed: Tributes for slain Muslim cop

Ahmed Merabet is being hailed a hero with tributes still pouring in.

Je Suis Ahmed is the hashtage trending on Twitter in solidarity with slain Muslim cop. Picture: Via Twitter.

PRETORIA/JOHANNESBURG - Facing masked gunmen armed with automatic weapons Ahmed Merabet stood little chance of surviving, but this didn't stop him from trying to thwart the terrorists who shot fear through Paris as they attacked the Charlie Hebdo building on Wednesday.

Video footage captured during the attack shows one of the gunmen shooting the Muslim officer.

Tributes have been flooding in from people all over the globe and leaders of the Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic and Islamic faith for Merabet.

News publication On Islam reports that witnesses said Merabet's last words were "Do you want to kill me?" before the gunman replied "OK, chief".

#AhmedMerabet died defending the right to ridicule his faith-France unites behind #JeSuisAhmed

" #JeSuisAhmed, the policeman who died defending a magazine's right to insult his religion and culture"

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." #JeSuisAhmed

In honor of the Muslim brother who was one of the first to die in the Charlie hebdo attack. Inalilahewainailayherajeeon #JeSuisAhmed

Ponder ! #JeSuisAhmed #SkyPollNo

[WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT]_ Paris shooting caught on camera._

As French troops and police continue a house to house search for jihadi brothers who mounted a deadly attack, religious leaders have made an unprecedented show of solidarity against terrorism.

Lights on Paris's iconic Eiffel tower were dimmed last night honouring the 12 people who died.

President Barack Obama visited the French embassy in Washington yesterday to sign the condolences book for the victims of the terror attack on the French publication.

At the Grand Mosque leaders from the Islamic faith were joined by Jewish, Buddhist and Catholic counterparts, denouncing the extremist that lead French-born Muslim brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi to mount their attack on the publication that has regularly offended all of the above religions.

Although Muslim leaders condemned the shooting, some have expressed fears of a rise in anti-Islamic feeling in a country with a large Muslim population. The window of a kebab shop next to a mosque in the town of Villefrance-sur-Saone was blown out by an overnight explosion. Local media said no one was hurt.

Charlie Hebdo's lawyer Richard Malka said the newspaper would be published next Wednesday with one million copies compared to its usual print run of 60,000.


Police released photographs of the two suspects, Cherif and Said Kouachi, 32 and 34. The brothers were born in eastern Paris and grew up in an orphanage in the western city of Rennes after their parents died.

The younger brother's jail sentence for trying to fight in Iraq a decade ago, and more recent tangles with the authorities over suspected involvement in militant plots, raised questions over whether police could have done more to watch them.

Cherif Kouachi was arrested on 25 January, 2005 preparing to fly to Syria en route to Iraq. He served 18 months of a three-year sentence.

"He was part of a group of young people who were a little lost, confused, not really fanatics in the proper sense of the word," lawyer Vincent Ollivier, who represented Cherif in the case, told Liberation daily.

In 2010 he was suspected of being part of a group that tried to break from prison Smain Ali Belkacem, a militant jailed for the 1995 bombings of Paris train and metro stations that killed eight people and wounded 120. The case against Cherif Kouachi was dismissed for lack of evidence.

A third person wanted by police, an 18-year-old man, turned himself into police in Charleville-Mézières near the Belgian border late on Wednesday. A legal source said he was the brother-in-law of one of the brothers. French media quoted friends as saying he was in school at the time of the attack.

In the wake of the killings, authorities tightened security at transport hubs, religious sites, media offices and stores. Police also increased their presence at entry points to Paris.

At Porte d'Orleans, one of the capital's main gateways, more than a dozen white police vans lined up the main avenue. Officers stood guard with bulletproof jackets and rifles.

The defence ministry said it sent 200 extra soldiers from parachute regiments across the country to help guard Paris.

Additional reporting by Reuters.