Fritz-Joly Joachin

Bulgaria: We have accomplice of Cherif Kouachi under arrest

While hunt for 5 or 6 accomplices of Paris gunmen continues, Sofia says it holds man believed to have links to one of the terrorists.

As the hunt continues for accomplices of the Paris gunmen who left 17 victims in their wake, Bulgarian authorities said Tuesday they have a Frenchman under arrest who is believed to have links to Cherif Kouachi, one of the Charlie Hebdo attackers.



Fritz-Joly Joachin, 29, was arrested January 1 as he tried to cross into Turkey, under two European arrest warrants, one citing his alleged links to a terrorist organization and a second for allegedly kidnapping his 3-year-old son and smuggling him out of the country, said Darina Slavova, the regional prosecutor for Bulgaria's southern province of Haskovo.


"He met with Kouachi several times at the end of December," Slavova said.


Fritz-Joly Joachin in court (Photo: Reuters)
Fritz-Joly Joachin in court (Photo: Reuters)

The Kouachi brothers, who killed 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and their friend, Amedy Coulibaly, the man who killed four hostages in the Paris grocery, died Friday in clashes with French police. All three claimed ties to Islamic extremists in the Middle East - the Kouachis to al-Qaeda in Yemen and Coulibaly to the Islamic State group.


French police say as many as six members of the terrorist cell that carried out the Paris attacks may still be at large, including a man seen driving a car registered to the widow of one of the gunmen. The country has deployed 10,000 troops to protect sensitive sites, including Jewish schools and synagogues, mosques and travel hubs.


Two French police officials told The Associated Press that authorities were searching around Paris for the Mini Cooper registered to Hayat Boumeddiene, Coulibaly's widow, who Turkish officials say is now in Syria.


One of the police officials said the Paris terror cell consisted of about 10 members and that "five or six could still be at large," but he did not provide their names. The other official said the cell was made up of about eight people and included Boumeddiene.


One of the police officials also said Coulibaly apparently set off a car bomb Thursday in the town of Villejuif, but no one was injured and it did not receive significant media attention.


Video has emerged of Coulibaly explaining how the attacks in Paris would unfold. French police want to find the person or persons who shot and posted the video, which was edited after Friday's attacks.


Ties among the three attackers themselves date back to at least 2005, when Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi were jailed together.


פרסום ראשון: 01.13.15, 15:26
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