French citizen Fritz-Joly Joachin
French citizen Fritz-Joly Joachin.Reuters

French citizen Fritz-Joly Joachin, who was arrested on 1 January by Bulgarian authorities while trying to cross over to Turkey, allegedly has links to the Kourachi brothers accused of killing 12 journalists at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's Paris headquarters. Prosecutors claim that Joachin was in contact with the Chrlie Hebdo shooters a week prior to the bloodbath. 

Joachin, 29, of Haitian origin "was in contact several times with one of the two brothers — Cherif Kouachi", The Sydney Morning Herald quoted regional public prosecutor Darina Slavova as saying. The man has two European arrest warrants against him: One citing his alleged links to a terrorist organisation, and a second for allegedly kidnapping his three-year-old son and smuggling him out of the country, probably to Syria.

Joachin, who was detained at the Kapitan Andreevo Bulgaria/Turkey border, had contacted the Kouachi brother on 30 December, just before leaving for France. 

According to French police, at least six members of a terrorist cell involved in the Charlie Hebdo shooting are still on the loose, including a man who was spotted driving a car registered in the the name of the wife of one of the slain gunmen. The authorities are still on the lookout for the Mini Cooper registered in the name of Hayat Boumeddiene, the widow of Amedy Coulibaly, who is reportedly in Syria.

According to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, the manhunt is urgent because "the threat is still present".

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