The PJ Tatler

Three Suspects Sought in Paris Terrorist Attack

French police have reportedly identified three suspects wanted in the attack on magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris today: Said Kouachi, 34, Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Hamyd Mourad, 18.

Cherif Kouachi was known to police — from a 2008 Associated Press article:

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted seven men of terrorism for helping funnel fighters to Iraq, a case that exposed how the war there has lured in radical youths from Europe.

The judge handed down sentences of up to seven years in prison. All seven suspects — five Frenchmen, a Moroccan and an Algerian — were convicted of “criminal association with a terrorist enterprise,” a blanket charge used in many French terrorist cases.

Most acknowledged going to Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 or planning to go, but all denied accusations that they were involved in a cell recruiting French fighters for Iraq’s insurgency.

Investigators say the alleged network funneled about a dozen French fighters to camps linked to al-Qaida in Iraq head Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and sought to send more before he was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006. At least seven French insurgents have died in Iraq, some in suicide bombings, police say.

… Mohammed el-Ayouni, Thamer Bouchnak and Cherif Kouachi were given three-year sentences, 18 months of which were suspended. El-Ayouni lost an arm and an eye fighting in Iraq, while Bouchnak and Kouachi were arrested days before they planned to travel to Syria, allegedly to train for Iraq.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq was the precursor to ISIS.

A 2005 article had more on Cherif Kouachi, from the perspective of his lawyer: “Kouachi, 22, lived his entire life in France and was not particularly religious, Ollivier said. He drank, smoked pot, slept with his girlfriend and delivered pizzas for a living. His parents, Algerian immigrants, are dead.”