(JTA) — French special forces surrounded a building north of Paris in pursuit of two brothers who are suspected of killing 12 people earlier this week.
The troops deployed on Friday morning outside a shop in Dammartin-en-Goële, a municipality located near Charles De Gaulle Airport, the online edition of Le Monde reported.
Police believe that Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, two brothers in their 30s, are holed up inside the shop and may be holding at least one hostage.
The two were named by French authorities as the main suspects in the killing of 12 people on Wednesday at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, known for its cartoons lampooning Islam and other faiths.
Among the victims were the satirical magazine’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, and cartoonist Georges Wolinski, an 80-year-old Jew who was born in Tunisia and had worked for some of France’s leading publications. Witnesses said they heard the perpetrators praise Allah and say they were affiliated with al Qaeda.
Chérif and Saïd Kouachi are believed to have helped recruit jihadists to fight in Iraq, Le Monde reported.
The perpetrators of the attack, who wore face masks, fled the scene in a car that was later found to contain explosives.
The attack prompted French Jewish communities to increase security to maximum levels, according to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.