PARIS — French officials have indicted two men in connection with the attacks that terrorized Paris in January, describing hundreds of texts, a handful of meetings and DNA recovered at the besieged kosher supermarket.
The suspects, identified as 33-year-old "Amar R." and 25-year-old "Said M.," are accused of "participating in a terrorist criminal conspiracy to commit crimes against persons," according to a statement issued by French prosecutors on Friday.
Cherif Kouachi and his brother, Said, killed 12 people during an attack on Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine on January 7. Amedy Coulibaly killed four hostages at a Paris kosher supermarket two days later while demanding the release of the Kouachi brothers who were by this time surrounded by police outside the capital. Coulibaly also shot dead a policewoman on Jan. 8. All three were killed in police raids.
According to French prosecutors, Amar R. met Coulibaly in prison between 2010 and 2013 and "had been in contact on numerous occasions" with him.
The two exchanged more than 600 text messages and met more than 10 times in the Paris area, including on January 5 and 6 — just days before the attack, the statement added.
In addition, Said M.'s DNA was found on the strap of a Taser in Coulibaly's possession in the supermarket he attacked, the statement added.
"Many telephone exchanges appeared between Amar R. and Said M. with over 1200 contacts between February 2014 and January 2015," according the prosecutors.
A French government official has told NBC News that Charlie Hebdo attacker Cherif Kouachi texted Coulibaly an hour before the attacks on the magazine.
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— F. Brinley Bruton and Nancy Ing, with The Associated Press