Video Shows Paris Gunman Pledging Allegiance To Islamic State


amedy-coulibalyA video emerged today showing the gunman who killed five people in two attacks in Paris and is now linked to a third shooting pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

Amedy Coulibaly, 32, shot a policewoman on Thursday, before attacking a kosher supermarket in the city Friday, where he opened fire, killing four people before taking hostages. He was killed during a police assault to end the standoff.

According to Le Monde, Coulibaly claims in the video to have coordinated his attack “against police” with the assault against satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead Wednesday. The Hebdo attack was orchestrated by brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, both killed in a standoff with police at a warehouse northeast of Paris on Friday.

A prosecutor said Sunday that Coulibaly is also linked to the shooting of a jogger. Ballistics tests on shell cases from the shooting in Fontenay aux Roses on Wednesday linked them to the automatic weapon at the grocery stormed by Coulibaly two days later. The prosecutor said the jogger was seriously wounded.

In the video, Coulibaly also boasts of belonging to the Islamic State and says the organization gave money to the Kouachi brothers to buy weapons and other equipment, Le Monde reported. It is not known when the video – which has since been taken down – was shot.

On Friday, French television channel BFMTV reached Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi before the dual standoffs ended. Coulibaly told the TV station that he was with the Islamic State group, which has seized territory in Iraq and Syria. He also said he “coordinated” the attack on the policewoman with the Kouachis.

Meanwhile, Kouachi told the broadcaster he was financed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The two terrorist groups typically do not work together.

Later Friday, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen claimed responsibility for the massacre at the newspaper. However, two U.S. officials told USA TODAY it was not clear if the organization’s claim was authentic.

Le Monde said it received confirmation that the man in the video was Coulibaly from his former lawyer, Damien Brossier.

In the video, apparently filmed over several days, Coulibaly can be seen with a gun, exercising and giving speeches in fluent French and broken Arabic in front of an Islamic State emblem. He defends the attacks carried out on Charlie Hebdo, police and the supermarket.

“What we are doing is completely legitimate, given what they are doing,” Coulibaly tells the camera. “You cannot attack and not expect retribution so you are playing the victim as if you don’t understand what’s happening.”

The SITE Intelligence Group said it had verified the video, which it said was released by a jihadist linked to the Islamic State. In the introduction, the militant group identifies Coulibaly as “Abou Bassir AbdAllah al-Irfiqi” and a “soldier of the Caliphate,” SITE added.

Meanwhile, Coulibaly’s common-law wife, originally suspected in the attack against the policewoman Thursday, is no longer in France and appears to have left before this week’s terror attacks.

A Turkish intelligence official told the Associated Press on Saturday that a woman with the same name and resembling a widely distributed photo of Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, flew to Istanbul on Jan. 2. Authorities believe she traveled to Sanliurfa near the Syrian border on Jan. 4, then disappeared. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to the AP because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the record.

A police bulletin on Friday described her as armed and dangerous, and a massive manhunt had been underway for her Saturday in Paris.


{ Newscenter}