Paris gunman tried to justify kosher market raid to hostages

Amedy Coulibaly reportedly invoked slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

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An audio recording released by France’s RTL reportedly indicate that Amedy Coulibaly, one of the three Islamist militants behind the deadly attack on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, had tried to justify his actions to hostages he had taken at a local kosher market.

The French radio station said it obtained the recording after contacting the Hyper Cacher supermarket on Friday after Coulibaly took customers and workers hostage.

The conversation was reportedly recorded after the Islamist militant picked up the phone and failed to hang up properly.

The gunman had burst into the grocery store just a few hours before the Jewish Sabbath which is observed on Saturday. Coulibaly reportedly killed four of the hostages before he was shot down by French special forces who stormed the hypermarket.

Before the fatal shooting and siege, Coulibaly described his action as revenge in response to the French ban on women wearing the hijab in public as well as Paris’ military actions in Mali and against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria.

“Each time, they try to make you believe that the Muslims are terrorists. But I was born in France. If they hadn’t attacked elsewhere, I would never be there,” Coulibaly reportedly told the hostages, who numbered approximately 15.

Coulibaly reportedly argued with the hostages, accusing them of being complicit in the actions of the French government given that they were tax-payers. He asked why they hadn’t demanded Paris “leave Muslims alone” instead.

In the recording, Coulibaly is also heard invoking slain Al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden.
“Like he [Osama Bin Laden] said: You will never taste peace. We are the ones who will make peace in Palestine,” the gunman reportedly said.

On Wednesday, Coulibaly was among three suspected gunmen to storm the headquarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The gunmen killed several cartoonists and French police members in the assault on the weekly, which marks the gravest attack on French soil in decades.

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