Suspects (Brothers) in Paris attack were on police radar for years (As were the Tsarnaev Bros)
Now that the suspects are dead following a standoff and national “manhunt” – What questions need to be asked? Lets start with, Who are the suspects, and did the French authorities have Prior Knowledge? Then – How were the attackers able to pull this off in broad daylight, and get away clean, without a scratch?
There are many similarities here to the Boston Bombings. We have 2 brothers / They were known to authorities, and A martial law style manhunt end in their deaths. (Exception being that Dzhokhar (joker) Tsarnaev was taken alive after it was discovered that we were listing to the FBI / Police scanners. )
The attack on a Paris magazine by apparent Islamists prompted some in the media to compare it with the Boston Marathon Bombing. Russ Baker looks at a crucial similarity between the cases that’s missing from other accounts: the fact the security apparatus knew the alleged perpetrators very well.
French police officials identified three men as suspects in the deadly terror attack at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.
One of the men, 34-year-old Cherif Kouachi, was convicted on terrorism charges in 2008.
Two of the suspects, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, 32, are French nationals who were born to Algerian parents in Paris. The nationality of a third man, Hamid Mourad, 18, is unknown; police believe he is a high school student. (Hamid is now being considered innocent?)
Their names circulated on Facebook and Twitter for an hour before French authorities confirmed that the Kouachi brothers had been identified.
One of the officials who spoke to the Associated Press said they were linked to a “Yemeni terrorist network”.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the sensitive and ongoing investigation.
The older brother was arrested in Paris in January 2005 when he was caught trying to fly to Damascus, Syria, on his way to join the Iraqi insurgency, according to a 2008 Bloomberg report. Cherif Kouachi reportedly told a court that he was inspired by detainee abuse by U.S. troops at Baghdad’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison, though he was relieved he was stopped, according to the Bloomberg report.
A 2005 Pittsburgh Tribune Review report, citing Kouachi’s lawyer, said the would-be terrorist was not religious, drank alcohol, smoked marijuana, had premarital sex with his girlfriend and had a job delivering pizzas. At the time, Kouachi had learned “the basics” on how to handle Kalashnikovs, Le Monde reported.
He was convicted in 2008 of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s insurgency and given a three-year sentence, half of which was suspended.
It isn’t immediately clear if he had traveled back to the Middle East since he was identified in connection with the attack.
Ironically, in 2008, his name again surfaced in an International Herald Tribune story detailing how security analysts decided their fears over foreign fighters returning to Europe were “overblown.” By then, Kouachi was a fishmonger.
He then dropped off the grid, only to surface on Wednesday, officials say, in the attack that killed 12 innocent people — eight journalists, two police officers, a receptionist and a guest of a cartoonist.
Twelve people were killed in what France’s president called a “terror attack” on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday, leading authorities to launch a massive manhunt for the gunmen, who remain at large. No arrests have been confirmed in the hunt for the attackers, though an “anti-terror raid” is reportedly underway northeastern city of Reims.
The brothers, caught on tape by an eyewitness, shouted “Allahu akbar!” as they walked outside the building carrying large guns and dressed entirely in black. The magazine staff was in an editorial meeting, around lunchtime in Paris, when the gunmen opened fire. Eleven others were wounded; four of those injuries are serious.
Witnesses described the gunmen as speaking perfect French.
Charlie Hebdo has frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims. In 2011, the magazine was firebombed after it ran a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muḥammad.
The editor in charge of the paper was one of those killed on Wednesday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though supporters of militant groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda praised the attack online. World leaders condemned it as an attack on freedom of expression.
“What happened was a terrible thing. But I know that my kids have nothing to do with this. I know it. I am mother. I know my kids,” Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told Channel 4 News in Makhachkala, Dagestan. She said that Tamerlan, who apparently died in a gunfight with police on Thursday night, was being watched by the FBI before the attacks. “They were monitoring him and I know that because I used to talk to them,” she said. “They used to come to our house, like two three times. And then my son Tamerlan used to tell me that he used to talk to them too, because they called me once and they wanted his number and then at such moments.”