2 Brothers, Third Man, ID'd as Suspects in Paris

One has a previous terror conviction
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2015 4:26 PM CST

(Newser) – Authorities in France say they have identified, but not arrested, three suspects in today's murder of 12 people in Paris, reports AP. Two are brothers in their early 30s, identified as Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, who reportedly live in Paris and are French citizens. (Witnesses say the attackers spoke perfect French.) Cherif was convicted in 2008 on terrorism charges for helping direct fighters to join the Iraqi insurgency, and the AP says both brothers have a connection to a "Yemeni terrorist network." (One witness quoted an attacker as saying, "Tell the media that we are al-Qaeda in Yemen," reports the New York Times.) The third suspect is identified as Hamyd Mourad, 18, whose nationality was not clear. Whoever they were, the gunmen at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper appeared to be professionally trained, observes the Long War Journal.

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In graphic video from outside the building, "the two attackers move in side-by-side formation and fire deliberately while shooting at a French police officer who is four to five car lengths away," says the post. One expert tells the Times they were "almost casual" at the time, gripping their weapons correctly and covering each other methodically before making their getaway. No group has claimed responsibility, but antiterrorism experts say the well-coordinated attack bears the hallmarks of al-Qaeda rather than the Islamic State. What's more, a recent issue of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire named Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, who was among the victims, on a hit list. Meanwhile, rallies to honor all the victims were taking place throughout France and Europe, reports CNN. (Read more Charlie Hebdo stories.)

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