|Paris, January 11, 2015 [Image Source]|
The source is "Emails from Paris Kosher store gunman to ‘handler’ revealed" | France24, November 7, 2015]
Amedy Coulibaly, one of the gunmen behind the January attacks on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket, shared detailed information before the attacks with an unknown individual from abroad, according to French daily Le Monde.
The newspaper reported on Saturday that it was given access to emails recovered by investigators, including exchanges between Amedy Coulibaly, who held up a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on January 9 killing four people, and his supposed “handler”. Most of these messages were encrypted according to Le Monde, but a few were written “in clear”, giving an insight into the preparations for the attack.
“I’ve got an AK47 with 275 rounds and six Tokarevs [semi-automatic handguns] with 69 rounds,” wrote Coulibaly, just hours after Said and Cherif Kouachi attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo on the morning of January 7, killing 12 people. “I also have three bullet-proof vests, tactical jackets, tear gas grenades and a stun gun”.
According to Le Monde the person who received the message, whom investigators believe may have been outside of France, replied later that day in recognisably idiomatic French “SMS-speak” giving further instructions.
“OK, do what you can, go home and sleep then hide and check [email] address 1 every day,” the message reads. “Further information will come soon regarding friends who will help. Get rid of your SIM card, check address 1, address 2 is finished.”
A final email from the apparent mission controller, sent on January 8 and obtained by BFM TV on October 13, gave further instructions.
“Impossible to find friends [to help], work alone,” the message reads. “If possible track down and work with the ‘Zigots’ [the code name for the Kouachi brothers]. If possible, in your video explain that you gave them the tools in the name of D [for Daesh, the Arabic word for the Islamic State group] and say which weapons you used.”
The Kouachi brothers, in a call to BFMTV hours before they were killed by police breaking a siege at a print works near Paris, said they had acted in the name of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabic Paninsula AQAP.
Cherif had travelled to Yemen in 2011. This claim was backed up later on January 9 in a video posted by AQAP spokesman Nasser Ben Ali Al Anassi.
In his suicide video, Coulibaly said he had acted in the name of the Islamic State (IS) group.
Le Monde reported that the latest revelations “suggest that there may have been a link between the two groups.”
Coulibaly's final message, titled “Salam”, asked his handler to take care of his wife, Hayat Boumedienne: “I want the brother to take care of her under the rules of Islam, and to make sure that she does not find herself alone or in a bad financial situation. “Above all, I want her to learn Arabic, the Koran and religious science. The most important is her religion and faith, and here she is going to need help. May Allah help you.”
|Coulibaly in Le Monde, October 13, 2015 [Image Source]|
A day before Amedy Coulibaly took more than 20 hostages and killed four of them, all Jews, at the Hyper Cacher in January, he received an email from an unknown individual with instructions to contact a third party or parties with the code name “zigotos,” the BFMTV station reported yesterday (Oct. 13) based on documents it obtained. The interlocutor, described by some French media as Coulibaly’s handler, provided an email address associated with a communications firm in Pennsylvania, the French news agency AFP reported... “Work alone. Go for the easiest, the surest and most numerous. Maybe in the [city] edges in case of problems in the center. You know best,” one set of instructions transmitted to Coulibaly read... [Source]Back in January, the idea that Coulibaly was operating as a "lone wolf", perhaps inspired by feelings of alienation or frustration, or maybe just having a really bad hair day, were everywhere in the news media. A Washington Post analysis published on January 11, 2015, referred to the absence of evidence that the killer
had been in contact with the Islamic State before his assault on the supermarket [and] may represent another example of the “lone wolf” attacks that the Islamic State has inspired, analysts said.The then-US attorney general Eric Holder, interviewed the same day in The Guardian,
said the US was “at war” with “lone wolf” terrorists... Speaking to NBC from Paris, where he was attending a counter-terrorism summit and the march, Holder said: “That is the thing that I think keeps me up most at night, this concern about the lone wolf who goes undetected.” ["Eric Holder says US ‘at war’ with ‘lone wolf’ terrorists after Paris attacks", The Guardian UK, January 11, 2015]And Aljazeera, not so terribly surprisingly, went to some lengths to actually refute the idea that the lone-wolf might have secretly been controlled by others:
The complete story behind Coulibaly and the Kouachis may never be known — all three are now dead — but analysts have begun to suspect the men may not have been acting under direct orders from [jihadist] groups. [Aljazeera America, January 13, 2015]Making all of this worse is the fact that those French murders from January 2015 continue to be invoked by jihad-minded, would-be killers as a report from just yesterday ["Madrid jihadists planned to kill Jews in Paris copycat action", Times of Israel, November 6, 2015] reminds us. Turns out three members of what's alleged to be a jihadist terror cell in Madrid, all of them Moroccans in their late twenties, all living in Spain on what are called "valid staying permits"
planned to carry out attacks similar to the ones perpetrated by Amedy Coulibaly, who in January murdered four people at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris a day after he gunned down a police officer south of the city. The report, based on information provided by unnamed officials, did not name specific targets... It said they had “planned an imminent attack on security forces or attacks against Jewish interests in the Spanish capital.”It doesn't say here that these terrorists were "lone wolves". Only that
[T]hey considered themselves affiliated to the Islamic State terrorist organization but never traveled to the Middle East to participate in fighting there... [Times of Israel]Coulibaly's partner/wife Hayat Boumeddiene escaped to Syria via Turkey a few days before the January massacre and is still at large. Did she manage that on her own?