1. Charlie Hebdo attack: Police identify 3 suspects in Paris shooting; 1 surrenders

Charlie Hebdo attack: Police identify 3 suspects in Paris shooting; 1 surrenders

The 18-year-old, Hamyd Mourad, implicated alongside two brothers in the bloody attack has surrendered to police.

By: | Paris | Updated: January 8, 2015 4:27 PM
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Mourners hold signs that translate as “I AM CHARLIE” during a rally in support of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical weekly newspaper that fell victim to an terrorist attack. (AP)

The 18-year-old, Hamyd Mourad, implicated alongside two brothers in the deadly attack at a satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which has killed 12 people, has surrendered to police.

“Hamyd Mourad handed himself in to police… on Wednesday at 11:00 pm (0330 IST) after seeing his name circulating on social media,” the source told AFP. “He has been arrested and taken into custody,” another source confirmed.

French police officials had earlier identified three men as suspects in the deadly attack. Two officials named the suspects as Frenchmen Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, who are brothers and in their early 30s, as well as 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, whose nationality wasn’t immediately clear.

One of the officials said they were linked to a Yemeni terrorist network. A witness of yesterday’s shootings at the offices of weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo said one of the attackers told onlookers, “You can tell the media that it’s al-Qaida in Yemen.” The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorised to publicly discuss the sensitive and ongoing investigation. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, which caried controversial cartoons, methodically killing 12 people, including the editor, before escaping in a car. It was France’s deadliest terrorist attack in half a century.

Cherif Kouachi was convicted in 2008 of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s insurgency and sentenced to 18 months in prison. During Cherif Kouachi’s 2008 trial, he told the court, “I really believed in the idea” of fighting the US-led coalition in Iraq. He said he was motivated by his outrage at television images of torture of Iraqi inmates at the US prison at Abu Ghraib. Shouting slogans as they fired, the men also spoke fluent, unaccented French in the military-style noon-time attack on Charlie Hebdo, located near Paris’ Bastille monument. The publication’s depictions a particular religion have drawn condemnation and threats before- it was firebombed in 2011- although it also satirised other religions and political figures.

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A member of the media makes images of the front page of Charlie Hebdo which shows a caricature of French author Michel Houellebecq near the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, after a shooting January 7, 2015. (Reuters)

President Francois Hollande said it was a terrorist act “of exceptional barbarism,” adding that other attacks have been thwarted in France in recent weeks. Fears have been running high in France and elsewhere in Europe that jihadis returning from conflicts in Syria and Iraq will stage attacks at home.

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