Reign of fear

For three days, two Al-Qaida-linked brothers and an associate terrorized France and shook the world. The Kouachi brothers allegedly carried out the massacre of 12 people at the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, while their associate is suspected of killing a policewoman. A chronology:


 Masked gunmen storm the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo at noon. With military-style precision, they slaughter a police officer, eight journalists and two others.

 Making their escape in a black car, the gunmen pause to kill a Muslim police officer.

 France raises its terror alert to the maximum and bolsters security to guard media offices, places of worship and other sensitive areas.

 World leaders, journalists' groups and others around the world express horror. "This is an act of exceptional barbarism," says French President Francois Hollande.

 French police identify three suspects: brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, and a suspected accomplice, 18-year-old Mourad Hamyd.

 Thousands of demonstrators jam the Place de la Republique near the site of the shooting to honor the victims. They wave pens and papers reading "Je suis Charlie" — "I am Charlie" — a slogan of solidarity.

 Hamyd turns himself in.

 Armed police move into the city of Reims, apparently searching for the brothers.


 Police release photos of the Kouachi brothers amid fears they will strike again. Nine people, suspected members of the brothers' entourage, are detained for questioning.

 An assailant opens fire on a police officer in a predawn shooting on the southern edge of Paris, killing her. The suspect is identified as Amedy Coulibaly.

 At noon, bells ring out as France marks a moment of silence to honor the victims.

 Britain increases security at ports and borders. Authorities put 88,000 security forces on the streets of France.

 Four leading French imams and the Vatican issue a joint statement denouncing the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

 The lights of the Eiffel Tower go out in tribute to the dead.


 Security official says Kouachi brothers are on the move after stealing a car near Paris.

 French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says an operation is underway to detain the brothers in Dammartin-en-Goele, about 25 miles northeast of Paris.

 The brothers are cornered with a hostage inside a printing plant. Security forces stream into the small town.

 "They said they want to die as martyrs," says lawmaker Yves Albarello, who was inside the command post.

 A gunman takes hostages at a kosher grocery on the eastern edge of Paris. Police say the hostage-taker is armed with an automatic rifle.

 A police official identifies the gunman as Coulibaly. Police release his photo and that of a suspected female accomplice, Hayat Boumddiene.

 Police link Coulibaly to the Kouachi brothers.

 Coulibaly threatens to kill his hostages if police launch an assault on the brothers.

 Just before 5 p.m., the Kouachi brothers come out of the printing plant with guns blazing and are killed. Their hostage is freed.

 Minutes later, police storm the Paris kosher grocery. Coulibaly and at least four hostages are killed.

 A member of Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen says the group directed the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Associated Press