The man who killed a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris on Thursday was a member of the same Islamist group as the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo shooting according to a police source.
The Reuters news agency reports that the source revealed the assailant be sought the shooting in the Montrouge area knew Cherif and Said Kouachi.
They are the brothers suspected of killing 12 people, including two police officers, in Wednesday’s attack.
The three men were all members of the same Paris cell that a decade ago sent young French volunteers to Iraq to fight US forces.
According to the police source, the Montrouge suspect was sentenced in 2010 for his role in a botched prison break-out of Smain Ali Belkacem, who was behind a 1995 attack on the Paris transport system that killed eight people and wounded 120.
Cherif Kouachi was similarly implicated in that break-out attempt, but there was insufficient evidence and the case against him was eventually dropped.
The gunman who killed the policewoman on Thursday was wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying an assault rifle and a handgun witnesses said. He fled the scene in a Renault Clio car.
The police source told Reuters that the man is still on the run, but two people have been arrested by anti-terrorist authorities as part of the investigation into Thursday’s shooting.
Montrouge Mayor Jean-Loup Metton said the policewoman and a colleague had come under fire while responding to a reported traffic accident.
On Thursday France’s interior minister had said the authorities had not been able to establish a link between the two attacks “at that stage”.