Paris, Jan 9: A gunman holding hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket today knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a source told AFP.
Amedy Coulibaly, 32, wanted over the killing of a policewoman yesterday, is thought to be the man holed up with hostages in the grocery store at the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris. At least two people have been killed in the stand-off, a source told AFP.
Coulibaly is believed to have links to Cherif Kouachi, also 32, one of the two men suspected of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre on Wednesday that killed 12. Kouachi and Coulibaly were seen together in 2010 while visiting another jihadist Djamel Beghal, mastermind of a failed prison break-out plot.
Coulibaly was convicted for his part in the planned break and was well-known to anti-terrorist police. Charges against Kouachi were dropped in the case.
The man they were trying to break out was Algerian Islamist Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for a bombing at the Musee d'Orsay metro station in Paris in October 1995 that left around 30 injured. Police released a mugshot of Coulibaly and his wife Hayat Boumeddiene, 32.