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Charlie Hebdo massacre: He drank, smoked pot and delivered pizzas - now he's accused of killing 12

By Steven Alexander

The identity cards of the three men being hunted for the Charlie Hebdo massacre were circulating widely on Twitter last night.

They include brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, both French citizens, aged 34 and 32 respectively. Paris newspaper Liberation reported that they were the orphaned children of Algerian immigrants.

A third man, Hamyd Mourad (18), was reportedly enrolled in a school in Charleville-Mezieres, around 70km from the Champagne capital of Reims in north-eastern France.

Police were reportedly hunting for him in Reims last night, where there were a number of anti-terrorist raids.

Reports of any arrests could not be confirmed, however. Earlier there were a number of raids in parts of Paris where it was thought the men may have fled.

One of the officials who named the trio said they were linked to a Yemeni terrorist network.

Former pizza delivery man Cherif Kouachi was reportedly part of a dismantled Iraqi jihadi network in the 19th arrondissement (district) of Paris, near the scene of yesterday's bloodshed.

In 2005 the New York Times reported that Cherif was inspired to become a jihadi because of the US use of torture in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. He was sentenced to three years in prison with 18 months suspended in relation to terror charges in May 2008. He had been helping to funnel potential jihadi fighters from France to Iraq.

During his trial he told the court "I really believed in the idea" of fighting the US-led coalition in Iraq.

The brothers reportedly came back from Syria this summer, and had previously lived in the city of Rennes.

At the time his lawyer said that Kouachi "lived his entire life in France and was not particularly religious".

"He drank, smoked pot, slept with his girlfriend and delivered pizzas for a living. His parents, Algerian immigrants, are dead."

The attackers are believed to have planned the attack with some care. The offices are usually occupied by no more than two or three secretarial and administrative staff.

The only time the cartoonists and writers, who work mostly from home, come together is on Wednesday at 10am for their editorial meeting, which usually ends in a long Parisian lunch.

An attack at just that time is unlikely to have been pure luck.

But the attackers almost bungled their assault. Witnesses said that they initially tried to storm the building next door. When they realised their mistake, they found that they could not get into the Charlie Hebdo offices without a door code.

At that moment another cartoonist, Coco, happened to turn up with her young daughter. "I'd been to collect her from babysitting," she said. "When I got to the front door, two hooded, armed men brutally threatened us. I tapped in the code. They went in and started shooting..."

Further Reading

We stand united with our French colleagues to defend a free Press Paper defied threats and firebombs 'to poke fun at everything in France' Charlie Hebdo massacre: He drank, smoked pot and delivered pizzas - now he's accused of killing 12  Charlie Hebdo: Paris in lockdown as police hunt massacre gun gang Charlie Hebdo: Paris shooting suspects identified as France mourns massacre victims Arrests made in Paris gunmen hunt Charlie Hebdo: Belfast Telegraph stands united with French colleagues to defend a free Press Charlie Hebdo massacre: Manhunt for killers underway as thousands join vigils in Paris, Dublin and around the world in solidarity with journalists The truth will set you free not an offensive comic It's Charlie Hebdo's right to draw Muhammad, but they missed the opportunity to do something profound

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