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article imageHebdo shooters were on terrorist watch lists, like Tsarnaevs

By Ralph Lopez     Jan 11, 2015 in World
The slain suspects in the shooting which killed 12 people in Paris, in the offices of the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, were on both US and French intelligence terror watch lists. One had a prior 2008 conviction for running Al Qaeda fighters to Syria.
Both Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said had just returned from Syria last summer. The UK Guardian reports that both French and US spy agencies had classified the two brothers as “very high” priority terrorist suspects. Authorities have not explained how the suspects' activities upon return from an Al Qaeda hotspot such as Syria completely eluded law enforcement.
Although the shooters wore masks during the shooting, French authorities say they identified them through the discovery of an ID left in the getaway car.
Last week USA Today reported:
Cherif Kouachi was well known to French law enforcement. At 26, he was sentenced to three years in prison with 18 months suspended for criminal association with a terrorist enterprise for his conviction in 2008 as part of a group of seven men. The group, known as the 19th Arrondissement Network for the working class Paris district where it was based, allegedly recruited young men, arranged for weapons training and helped them travel though Syria to Iraq. Police arrested Kouachi in January 2005, days before he allegedly planned to travel to Syria.
The Guardian wrote:
All three had well-documented ties to extremist networks and Islamist preachers, and their journeys to radicalisation had been keenly mapped by the legal system.
The presence of the suspects on multiple terrorist watch lists recalls the Boston Marathon bombing, when it emerged that the suspects, again two brothers, had previously been interviewed by the Boston counter-terrorism office of the FBI, and one of them, the deceased Tamerlan, had been placed on at least two terrorist watch lists by that office, just two years before the bombing.
Like the Paris shooters, Tamerlan Tsarnaev had also just returned from a violent jihadist hotspot, Chechnya, less than a year before the Boston attack. In that incident the FBI initially denied having had contact with the brothers.
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