French Authorities Confirm Arrest of Charlie Hebdo Attack Suspect

French citizen Peter Cherif, a suspected extremist linked to the 2015 attack that killed 12 people, has been taken into custody

File photo: Court sketch shows French Peter Cherif, arrested in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq, on the opening of his trial in Paris, January 26, 2011.
Benoit Peyrucq/AFP

French authorities have confirmed the arrest of a suspected extremist linked to the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.

Speaking to RTL radio, the minister for the armed forces, Florence Parly, said Friday: "This is a very good news because this terrorist played an important role in organizing the Charlie Hebdo attack."

The Paris prosecutor's office confirmed the arrest after French media reported that French citizen Peter Cherif, also known as Abu Hamza, had been arrested in Djibouti.

On January 7, 2015, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo's office, and a policeman in a nearby street. The following days, their associate Amedy Coulibaly killed a policewoman outside Paris and four people during a hostage-taking at a kosher supermarket. The three attackers were killed in shootouts with police.