New footage has arrived on the eve of the first anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack, where brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed into the satirical paper’s headquarter and slaughtered 12 people. In the video, Jihadi Amedy Coulibaly, a friend of the Kouachi brothers, explained the reason behind the massacres.
Coulibaly was responsible for three shootings in 2015, which he claimed were synchronized with the Kouachi brothers’ attack. On the evening of January 7, he left a jogger critically wounded after shooting him. The day after, he killed unarmed police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe. His biggest attack took place on January 8 at a Jewish supermarket, where he held 15 hostages and killed four of them.
— Norm Kelly (@norm) January 7, 2016
The recently released video shows the 32-year-old gunman talking to one of his hostages.
“I was born in France. If they hadn’t attacked Muslims abroad, this wouldn’t have happened. There will be many more like me to come,” he said two hours before the French riot police entered the store and killed him.
His wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, remains at large and is labeled as “France’s most wanted woman” because authorities believe that she served as Coulibaly’s accomplice.
Apart from Coulibaly’s statement, another video emerged showing the escape of several Charlie Hebdo terror attack survivors. The footage was filmed by staff members of film company Premiere Lignes. They were working in the office opposite the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, but they managed to run away from the scene.
While the staff members came out unscathed, the mental torture remained. They were able to escape by climbing over a roof that housed Charlie Hebdo’s meeting room, where the editorial board was just finishing their conference.
Producer Martin Boudot recalled that while on the roof, they heard gunshots and knew that “each bullet is for someone” downstairs. As per Mirror, he described the guilt that he felt for failing to warn the Hebdo team.
“Often then I ask myself why didn’t I call Charlie before the cops. Why didn’t I go and warn them they were outside. If it happened again, I would wait. In my dreams I saved lives that day. I saved no one.”
Boudot also captured the moment the Kouachi brothers went outside and announced that they have “avenged the Prophet Mohammed.” The two said that they were part of al-Qaeda’s Yemeni unit that later took responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks. The brothers fled the scene but were shot dead by policemen two days after.
The footage was revealed as part of Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks, BBC’s new documentary focusing on the aftermath of the tragedy. Witnesses and survivors’ chilling tales were featured on the program.
One of them was Charlie Hebdo journalist Laurent Leger, who survived after hiding behind a wall.
“I was confused, terrified, I couldn’t move. I saw the shapes of my friends on the floor. I didn’t know who was dead or wounded. There was total silence. Even the injured who were in terrible plain were too afraid to make a sound in case the killer might return.”
Charlie Hebdo marks the attack’s first anniversary through a 32-page edition with a provoking cover. The cover depicts a bearded representation of God, covered in blood, carrying a Kalashnikov over his shoulder.
The headline reads, “The assassin is still out there.”
— HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) January 7, 2016
The Vatican denounced the cover and said through its state newspaper that Charlie Hebdo should not use God to justify hatred. However, in an interview with CNN, Laurent Sourisseau, Charlie Hebdo’s head of publication, defended their editorial choice.
“It is a caricature representing the symbolic figure of God. To us, it’s the very idea of God that may have killed our friends a year ago. So we wanted to widen our vision of things. Faith is not always peaceful. Maybe we should learn to live with a little less of God.”
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]