The bloody drama in Paris involving massacre at Charlie Hebdo left 17 other people dead and shook the nation to its core. Police are combing the countryside of Paris in search for the two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, accused of the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Links have begun emerging between the Islamists involved in France’s two deadly sieges, pointing to a well-planned jihad in the heart of Europe. Amedy Coulibaly, who took five hostages in a Paris bakery was in touch with the Kouachi brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo murders. He was linked to the brothers through Djamel Beghal, a senior al-Qaeda member and convicted terrorist. Intercepts by the French security service reportedly showed that Coulibaly and the Kouachis had recently planned to visit Beghal where he is under house arrest, but turned back after fearing they would come under suspicion.
The al-Qaeda has claimed its hand behind the Charlie Hebdo slaughter. In a statement by al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch, Aqap, the group claimed that it directed the attack as revenge for the honour of Mohamed. Charlie Hebdo had published several cartoons featuring the Prophet. “The leadership of Aqap directed the operations and they have chosen their target carefully,” it claimed in a statement given to Associated Press.
The attackers had been on intelligence services’ radar in both America and France. The Kouachis were put on a US “no-fly list” of suspected terrorists. The CIA had told French intelligence that Said Kouachi had been to Yemen and almost certainly trained with Aqap. Questions are being asked about how the jihadists still managed to build an arsenal of automatic rifles and explosives to carry out the terror attacks.