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Possible al-Qaeda ties emerge in Charlie Hebdo murders

By Laurie Bennett

January 9, 2015 at 7:26am

One of the two suspects in the slaughter at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo met with a top leader of al-Qaeda in Yemen, Reuters reports.

Said Kouachi reportedly met in 2011 with Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of
al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Awlaki was killed later that year by a drone strike coordinated by the U.S.

Kouachi and his brother, Cherif Kouachi, died Friday in a hostage-taking in suburban Paris.

A second hostage situation, at a kosher market on the edge of the city, ended at almost the same time, after a police siege.

The massive hunt for the Kouachi brothers began Wednesday after 12 people were gunned down at Charlie Hebdo offices.

A witness quoted the killers as saying, “You can tell the media that it’s al-Qaeda in Yemen.”

al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as AQAP, has orchestrated several high-profile terrorist attacks, including the 2003 Riyadh compound bombings and the 2009 attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253.

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