Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Couple arrested over weapons allegedly used in January Paris attacks

TWO people have been arrested on suspicion of helping provide guns to the man who attacked a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January, the prosecutor’s office says.
Mercenary Claude Hermant, 52, and his girlfriend were arrested on Tuesday in northern France, nearly a year after the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and the Hyper Cacher grocery store that left 17 people dead.
The store attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, killed four people inside the market, and separately a policewoman, before dying in a shootout with police.
Prosecutors believe Hermant may have provided Coulibaly with an assault rifle and four Tokarev pistols.
Prosecutors said Hermant has links to far-right groups and was charged with arms trafficking earlier this year.
Seven people have been charged with providing weapons or vehicles to Coulibaly. All deny any knowledge he was planning an attack.
Paris gunman ... Amedy Coulibaly died in a police shootout. Picture: Supplied
Paris gunman ... Amedy Coulibaly died in a police shootout. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
Meanwhile, another man was arrested in Villiers-sur-Marne, to the east of Paris, on Tuesday for his role in last month’s attack. He was deemed a “peripheral” suspect in the investigation.
France remains on top security alert since at least eight gunmen and suicide bombers aligned with Islamic State killed 130 people at cafes, a concert hall and near a sports stadium in Paris on November 13 — the deadliest attack on French soil since World War Two.
Police are still searching for another chief suspect, Salah Abdeslam, who vanished after escaping to Belgium from Paris.
In a separate event that highlighted the knock-on impact of tensions over Islamist violence, a teacher who claimed to have been stabbed by a man on Monday acting in the name of Islamic State militants was hospitalised after admitting to police that he had invented the story, prosecutors said.
Islamic State has stated that teachers in France’s secular state-schooling system should be killed for promoting what it called the evils of secular life, music and drawing.

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