2 men charged for links to Hyper Cacher shooter

Gabe Friedman

(JTA) — Two men have been charged for their links to the Paris kosher market gunman who killed four Jewish hostages in January.

The men, identified as Amar R. and Said M. by the Associated Press, were charged for participating in a terrorist group with intent to commit a crime.

Amar R. exchanged over 600 text messages with the Hyper Cacher gunman Amedy Coulibaly between September and January. He also met with Coulibaly on Jan. 5 and 6, just days before the Charlie Hebdo shooting on Jan. 7 and Coulibaly’s killing of a French police officer on Jan. 8.

Said M.’s DNA was found on a stun gun Coulibaly had with him on Jan. 9 when he took hostages in the Hyper Cacher market and killed four before being killed by police officers in a raid.

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The prosecutor said that Amar R. and Said M. contacted each other more than 1,200 times between February 2014 and January 2015 and met regularly. They also destroyed their phone microchips on Jan. 9, the day of the Hyper Cacher attack.

Two others who had been detained earlier this week in conjunction with the new suspects were released.

Coulibaly claimed allegiance to the Islamic State in a video that surfaced after his death. The Kouachi brothers, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo shootings, said that the attack was sponsored by Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen.

Coulibaly’s widow Hayat Boumeddiene left a few days before the attacks in France and is believed to be in Syria.