Paris terror cell had 8-10 members, international flavor
Said and Cherif Kouachi, the two terrorists who carried out the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris, and Amedy Coulibaly, who murdered a police officer during the week, and four Jews at the Hyper Cacher supermarket on Friday afternoon, were part of an 8-10 member terror cell
that had an international flavor.
Here is what has been reported so far from the investigation and by witnesses interviewed by police and the media:
Said and Cherif Kouachi carried out the attack on the magazine shortly
before noon Jan. 7 after forcing a cartoonist arriving for a staff
meeting to open the ground-floor entrance with her security key card.
The brothers -- hooded, clad in black and carrying assault rifles --
proceeded to the editor's office and methodically shot and killed editor
Stephane Charbonnier, his police bodyguard and seven staffers. A
visitor to the office, a maintenance man and a police guard at the
entrance were also killed.
-- Said Kouachi, 34, had traveled to Yemen in 2011 for weapons training
by militants of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula affiliate, or
AQAP. Cherif Kouachi, 32, had been radicalized in prison while serving
time for a 2008 conviction on terrorism-related charges for recruiting
fighters for the insurgency against U.S. forces in Iraq. The younger
Kouachi met the third gunman involved in last week's terror spree, Amedy
Coulibaly, while in jail after his initial arrest in the recruitment
case in 2005, the Associated Press reported.
-- The three gunmen slain in police operations on Friday were known to
international security monitors and were all on the U.S. and British
no-fly lists that bar air travel by suspected terrorists. The Kouachi
brothers told bystanders at the magazine attack that they were aligned
with AQAP and Coulibaly can be seen pledging allegiance to the Islamic
State extremist group in a video that surfaced on the Internet after his
-- Said Kouachi returned from Yemen in 2011 with $20,000 provided by
AQAP to help finance the attacks carried out last week, CBS News
reported Tuesday. French police union spokesman Christophe Crepin told
journalists in Paris that an international hunt is on for several
suspects in the funding of the operations.
-- Coulibaly, 32, shot
and killed a policewoman in the Montrouge area of Paris a day after the
magazine attack and set off a car bomb in Villejuif in an attempt to
divert security forces searching for the Kouachi brothers, the AP said
it was told by a French police source.
-- The brothers and Coulibaly belonged to a terror cell that
consisted of eight to 10 members, including Coulibaly's companion,
26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene. She and at least five other suspected
accomplices may still be at large, police told the AP.
authorities have disclosed that Boumeddiene appears to have traveled to
Istanbul on Jan. 1 and crossed into Syria ahead of the terrorist
strikes. Police were searching around Paris on Tuesday for a Mini Cooper
registered to Boumeddiene.
-- A Frenchman of Haitian origin,
Fritz Jolie Joaquin, was taken into custody in Bulgaria on Jan. 1 as he
attempted to cross into Turkey at the Kapitan Andreevo border crossing, a
prosecutor in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, reported Monday. European
authorities issued an arrest warrant for Joaquin, 28, on Monday in
connection with reports he kidnapped his 3-year-old son and was
intending to travel to Syria. Police have said they believe Joaquin is a
relative of the Kouachi brothers.
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Labels: al-Qaeda, Charlie Hebdo, France, Islamic terrorism, Paris