Cyprus Mail

Four under investigation after Paris attacks

Archived photo: French soldiers patrol in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as part of the highest level of "Vigipirate" security plan after Islamist attacks

By James Regan and Nicholas Vinocur

Four men have been placed under formal investigation and detained as part of an inquiry into the Islamist militant attacks in Paris two weeks ago that claimed 17 victims, the Paris prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The investigation will continue in order to look for possible accomplices, particularly abroad, and cooperation will continue with authorities particularly in Turkey, Spain and Belgium, Francois Molins told a news conference.

“So far investigations have mainly advanced on what I would call the Coulibaly aspect and not on the Kouachi aspect,” Molins said.

French prosecutors had asked magistrates on Tuesday to open a formal investigation into the four men, who are suspected of helping prepare Amedy Coulibaly prepare his attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris after three days of violence in Paris.

The violence began with an attack by two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, that killed 12 at the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly.

The four suspects, aged 22 to 28, have been in police custody since Friday. One of them is also under investigation for having weapons.

French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine reported that Coulibaly, who died in a shootout with police when they raided the kosher supermarket, had been stopped by police on Dec. 30 in Paris while he was driving a rented car.

The two policemen checked his identity in police files, which listed Coulibaly as an Islamist, the report said, adding that when they informed an anti-terror police unit, they got no reaction.

The Interior Ministry has yet to comment publicly on the report.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls was due on Wednesday to outline security measures to be taken in the wake of the attacks.

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