French jihadist Cherif arrested in Djibouti

Benoit Peyrucq, AFP | Peter Cherif during his trial in Paris on January 26, 2011.

French jihadist Peter Cherif, a known associate of the Kouachi brothers who killed 12 people in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, has been arrested in Djibouti said an informed source Thursday.


Cherif, also known by the pseudonym Abou Hamza, is being held while awaiting transfer to France, said the source.

He was linked to a Paris jihadist cell and was named in the enquiry into the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 over his regular contact with the perpetrators Said and Cherif Kouachi.

The Kouachi brothers were shot dead by French police days after the murderous attack.

Peter Cherif was first arrested in Iraq in 2004 when he was fighting in the Al Qaeda ranks.

Condemned to 15 years in a Baghdad prison, he managed to escaped in 2007 and headed for Syria.

He was later extradited to France and incarcerated for 18 months before fleeing to Yemen.

In 2015 Cherif was placed on a US list of “designated global terrorist” as a member of Al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate AQAP.


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