One Paris Suspect Was in TV Program on Extremism

Cherif Kouachi is seen rapping in 2005 documentary on French TV
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2015 5:51 PM CST

They couldn't have known it at the time, but viewers of a French TV documentary on extremism in 2005 got a close look at one of the two suspects wanted in yesterday's carnage in Paris. Cherif Kouachi, now 32, appears as a "lanky young man" who, according to the narrator, was happier to spend time with girls than at the mosque, reports AP. "He appears relaxed and smiling as he pals around with friends," and at one point is shown rapping while wearing a backward baseball cap. About a year after it aired, he was arrested for trying to join fighters in Iraq, though he was depicted during the trial as having fallen in with the wrong crowd. A former lawyer says the 18 months he spent in prison seemed to have hardened him.

In 2011, Charif traveled to Yemen and underwent terrorist training with the al-Qaeda affiliate there, reports the New York Times. The training lasted a "few months" and covered small-arms combat and marksmanship. Less is known about his brother Said, 34, though both men have been on the US no-fly list for years, reports NBC News. US officials still don't know whether the brothers, who remain at large, acted on their own or received orders from an al-Qaeda leader. A third suspect, Mourad Hamyd, 18, turned himself in after hearing his name on the news but says he had nothing to do with the murders. (The shooters specifically sought out the editor of Charlie Hebdo during the attack.)

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