US attorney general to attend terror talks in Paris Sunday

US Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, DC, on November 29, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

Washington (AFP) - US Attorney General Eric Holder will attend international terror talks convened by France in Paris on Sunday after a deadly attack on a satirical newspaper, a Justice Department official said Thursday.

"The meetings will include discussions on addressing terrorist threats, foreign fighters and countering violent extremism," the official told AFP.

The ministerial-level meeting was convened by French Justice Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Twelve people were killed in the attack Wednesday by heavily armed gunmen who stormed Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly in Paris that had lampooned Islam.

A massive manhunt for two brothers identified as suspects in the attack was focused Thursday on a town in northeastern France where a getaway car was abandoned.

The massacre, which claimed the lives of the weekly's editor and some of France's most celebrated cartoonists, drew international condemnation as an attack on the free speech central to western culture.

It also heightened fears of a growing threat from homegrown jihadists radicalized by years of turmoil in the Middle East, including a devastating civil war in Syria and the rise of Islamic State militants there and in neighboring Iraq.