Story highlights

Investigators identify suspected accomplice in kosher market attack, report says

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula commander says the attack was plotted years ago

54 cases opened against unknown number of people for allegedly expressing support for terrorism

CNN  — 

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility Wednesday for tCharlie Hebdo shooting.

The attack was years in the making, AQAP commander Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi said in a video, claiming U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was the mastermind behind it.

Al-Awlaki was the terror group’s spokesman before a U.S. drone strike killed him in Yemen in 2011.

AQAP did not claim responsibility for the kosher grocery store siege but praised it.

What is al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula?

French security services have identified a suspected accomplice in that attack, according to the French newspaper Le Parisien.

Coulibaly was killed in a police raid to end the siege. The Kouachi brothers also are dead. But investigators’ efforts to track down possible suspects tied to last week’s attacks are continuing.

So is the magazine that the terrorists targeted last week.

Charlie Hebdo’s new edition hit newsstands Wednesday – a week after authorities say terrorists Said and Cherif Kouachi burst into its newsroom and gunned down staffers.

The cover features a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed crying. All 3 million copies sold out quickly, but more copies are coming soon, the magazine said.

‘Blessing from Allah’

The claim of responsibility for the deadly attack on the magazine came in a video showing AQAP commander Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi, with pictures of the Kouachis in the background.

“When the heroes were assigned, they accepted. They promised and fulfilled,” al-Ansi said.

He praised the attack, saying it was revenge for Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Mohammed.

Al-Ansi blamed not only Charlie Hebdo, but also France and the United States.

“It is France that has shared all of America’s crimes,” al-Ansi added. “It is France that has committed crimes in Mali and the Islamic Maghreb. It is France that supports the annihilation of Muslims in Central Africa in the name of race cleansing.” (“Islamic Maghreb” refers to North Africa.)

“It was a blessing from Allah” that the kosher market siege, in which four hostages were killed, took place about the same time, al-Ansi said.

Official: Video is authentic but not sure about claim

U.S. authorities said they think the video is authentic. But they weren’t ready to say that AQAP helped carry out the assault.

“We’re not there yet. There are good indicators” that the group was behind the attack, but the intelligence community is still assessing, a senior administration official told CNN.

Earlier in the day, U.S. National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said that, “if genuine, t