Before the attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday, suspect Cherif Kouachi was familiar to French police — and to French media.
British broadcaster Channel 4 has republished and translated a 2005 video report from public television channel France 3.
The report shows footage of Cherif Kouachi in 2004, partaking in a video to promote his rapping aspirations.
At the time, the narrator states, “Cherif had the same sort of dreams as many in the area where he lived. He was a fan of rap music more inclined to hang out with pretty young girls than to attend the mosque. In a few months, though, he was to become a committed follower of Farid Benyettou.”
Benyettou was a self-styled preacher and janitor jailed alongside Cherif Kouachi, who was convicted on terrorism charges in 2008. Kouachi had been intercepted and arrested in 2005, just days before he was set to fly to Syria and then to Iraq, The Telegraph reports. Benyettou is still incarcerated.
The French report quoted Kouachi speaking of his own radicalization. “Farid told me that the scriptures offered proof of the goodness of suicide attacks. It is written in the scriptures that it’s good to die a martyr,” he said.
French authorities are on the hunt for Kouachi and his brother, who are suspects in Wednesday’s terrorist attack that left 12 people dead at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
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