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Charlie Hebdo Terrorists Put Mom in Unthinkable Position Before Attack


The Short of It

A young mother who worked at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo was forced to allow the terrorists who later killed her colleagues into the building.

The Lowdown

Corinne Rey is a cartoonist for the satirical publication, which was targeted by extremists for poking fun at the Prophet Muhammed. Rey was returning to the office Wednesday after picking her daughter up from daycare when masked, armed men "brutally threatened" them, in her words.

"They wanted to enter, go up. I typed the code," she told a French newspaper.

Rey was then forced to hide under a desk while her coworkers were massacred. Amazingly, she escaped physically unharmed. But I can only imagine the mental and emotional anguish she is facing today. Twelve of Charlie Hebdo's employees were killed by the terrorists, including Rey's fellow cartoonists Georges Wolinski and Jean Cabut.

Two of the suspects are still at large—two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, both in their 30s. A third man, Hamyd Mourad, 18, surrendered to police late Wednesday. It's not clear whether he had a role in the killings, but his ID card was reportedly found in a car the gunmen used.

The Upshot

Rey clearly faced an impossible choice. If someone was threatening my child, I would do anything to protect her. Anything. So how can we blame this innocent mom who was just trying to keep her little one safe? She is probably suffering horribly over her part in the deaths of her colleagues.

Meanwhile, we also feel for the families of the Charlie Hebdo staffers who were gunned down. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during France's national day of mourning.

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