A Yemeni reporter says he met in 2010 one of the gunmen responsible for last week's massacre at a French newspaper, saying that the man claimed to have lived with the Nigerian who tried to carry out the failed al-Qaida "underwear bomb" plot five years ago.

Yemeni journalist and researcher Mohammed al-Kibsi said he first met Said Kouachi in the capital, Sanaa, while the gunman was studying Arabic.

Al-Kibsi told The Associated Press on Monday: "He was very polite and had a sense of humor so for me I could not expect that a few years later he would be the suspect of a terror attack."

The journalist said that Kouachi said that he had lived with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, convicted of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner.