Yemeni official: Suspect in Paris attack fought for al-Qaida

This photo provided by The Paris Police Prefecture Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015 shows the suspect Said Kouachi in the newspaper attack along with a plea for witnesses. A senior Yemeni official said Friday, Jan. 9, 2015 that Said Kouachi, a suspect in the attack on the French newspaper, is suspected of fighting in Yemen for al-Qaida.(AP Photo/Prefecture de Police de Paris)

SANAA, Yemen (AP) – A Yemeni security official says Said Kouachi, one of the brothers involved in the deadly attack against a Paris newspaper, is suspected of having fought for al-Qaida in the country.

Another senior security official says Kouachi was in Yemen until 2012.

Both officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of an ongoing investigation into Kouachi’s stay in Yemen.

Kouachi is suspected of joining the militants at the time when Yemen’s al-Qaida branch overran entire parts of the south amid the turmoil that engulfed the country during its Arab Spring uprising.

Many foreign students studying Arabic in Yemen were suspected of linking up with militants and were later deported. One of the officials says Kouachi was likely among a group of foreigners deported from Yemen in 2012.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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