President Barack Obama strongly condemned the terror attack in Paris on Tuesday that claimed 12 lives and praised France for standing “shoulder to shoulder” in the fight against terrorism. Obama said in a statement that the U.S. would provide “any assistance” to “America’s oldest ally” in bringing the terrorists to justice. Obama was briefed on the attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Tuesday morning and senior U.S. national security officials have been in touch with their French counterparts. Three gunmen burst into the magazine’s headquarters on Tuesday morning and also fired at police officers in the streets outside while shouting “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great in Arabic. “Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended,” Obama said. “France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers.”
Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the French people directly — in both English and French — expressing American solidarity in the face of the attacks. “We stand with you in solidarity and in commitment both to the cause of confronting extremism and in the cause which the extremists fear so much and which has always united our two countries: freedom,” Kerry said in a press conference. “No country knows better than France, that freedom has a price because France gave birth to democracy itself.” Kerry made similar remarks in French, proclaiming that terrorists who claim the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is dead, are wrong. “Le pouvoir de la liberte d’expression vainquera dans la lutte contre l’obscurantisme,” he said, meaning “The power of freedom of expression will be victorious in the fight against darkness.” The Department of Homeland Security is “closely monitoring” the situation in Paris, a senior official from the department said in a statement.