Members of the Yemen branch of al Qaeda are claiming responsibility for the deadly attack Wednesday on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, according to the Associate Press. The news comes on the same day the two suspects in the shooting, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, were reportedly killed in a police raid of a printworks office in Dammartin-en-Goele, where the suspects were hiding from the authorities.
Saïd Kouachi spent months in Yemen in 2011 receiving militaristic training from the same branch of al Qaeda now claiming responsibility for the deadly attack Wednesday, according to the New York Times. Chérif Kouachi previously told a French TV station that al Qaeda had sent the brothers to commit the attack.
The Kouachi brothers were the chief suspects in the killing of 12 people in an apparent terrorist attack against Charlie Hedbo, in which masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles. According to The Guardian, the brothers had fled northeast out of Paris where they took a civilian hostage in a printworks office in Dammartin-en-Goele. The two-day manhunt for the suspects ended when police raided the printworks, entering the building from the roof and firing on the brothers. Both suspects were killed in the raid.
At the same time, a gunman took multiple hostages at a kosher grocery store in Vincennes, Paris, early Friday. The hostage-taker, Amedy Coulibaby, has been linked to the Kouachi brothers, according to the Daily Beast. Both were reportedly followers of convicted terrorist Djamel Beghal.
French police Wednesday stormed the grocery store and four hostages, as well as Coulibaby, were killed. At least 15 hostages escaped, according to reports French President Francois Hollande relayed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to France’s Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, four police officers were killed in the standoff. It wasn't immediately clear whether the hostages killed in Vincennes were killed before the police raid or after it began.
Addressing the French public Friday, Hollande called both the Charlie Hebdo attack and the Vincennes incident “a tragedy for the nation.”