An Islamic State leader linked to the 2015 attacks at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and assassinations in Tunisia was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Syria, U.S. military officials said Friday.
Officials said Boubaker el Hakim was killed in Raqqa on November 26. He is believed to have played a role in IS attack planning and participated prominently in the group’s propaganda efforts abroad. The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the strike publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
El Hakim, a 33-year-old French Tunisian, was a mentor to the brothers who gunned down cartoonists at the French paper in January 2015.
He was arrested in Syria and sent to France, where he was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to seven years in prison. He was considered at the time to be among the most radicalized of the network of young extremists from the Paris area, which included the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.