Yemen or ISIS: Much Still Uncertain About Paris Attackers

Brothers Were Both in Yemen for Training

The gunmen at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the Kouachi brothers, claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and the latest reports say both traveled to Yemen in 2011 and trained with AQAP in the Maarib Province.

At the same time the third gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, who attacked the kosher grocery store, insisted he was working with them, and videos show him pledging loyalty to ISIS.

This has sparked a lot of speculation that AQAP and ISIS may be working together, but this may be a hasty conclusion, as there remains an awful lot unclear about the attackers as a whole.

One thing that remains unclear is whether Coulibaly was working with the Kouachi brothers in the first place. He certainly says he was, but we really only have his work on it.

US Attorney General Eric Holder conceded as much, saying there is no “credible information” about who is actually responsible for the attack, and the possibility that Coulibaly was simply a copycat after the brothers’ attack can’t really be ruled out.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of