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Suspects in Charlie Hebdo attack were in US terrorism database

January 09, 2015, 2:42 UTC+3 NEW YORK
The suspects had been also on the US no-fly list for years, a senior US intelligence official told ABC News, while declining to reveal why the brothers’ information was on the lists
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© AP Photo/Thibault Camus

NEW YORK, January 9. /TASS/. Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi who are sought by French authorities in the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris were in the US database of known or suspected international terrorists (TIDE), media reports have said.

The suspects had been also on the US no-fly list for years, a senior US intelligence official told ABC News, while declining to reveal why the brothers’ information was on the lists.

The TIDE database contains personal information about more than 1 million people who the US authorities suspect of links to terrorist activity. The no-fly list of those who are barred from airplanes to or from the United States includes around 47,000 names.

On Wednesday morning, masked gunmen targeted an office of the Paris-based satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine, which earlier published caricature images of the Prophet Muhammed.

As a result the shooting, 12 people were killed, including 10 staff members and two policemen. Another 11 people were wounded. This is the deadliest attack in France in half a century.

The attackers managed to flee the accident scene. The French police launched a search for the brothers after an identity card of one of them was found in a getaway car.

Police sources said the younger brother, Cherif, aged 32, was sentenced to three years in jail in 2008 for recruiting Islamists for an Iraqi branch of the Al-Qaeda international terrorist network.

He is also suspected of being an accomplice of Ali Belkacem, a member of an Algerian extremist group, who was sentenced to life in France and planned to escape from prison.

The older brother, Said, aged 34, was reportedly trained at an Al-Qaeda camp in Yemen in 2011 before returning to France, according to The New York Times newspaper.

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