A gunman in the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 17 people over a three-day period from January 7 to January 9 made a mysterious trip to Madrid, Spain, over the New Year’s holiday. Amedy Coulibaly returned to France, investigators say, on January 2 with an unknown person accompanying him.
Investigators in France and Spain want to know what Coulibaly was doing in Madrid — and who that unknown person was, who accompanied him on the drive back to Paris.
Spanish authorities officially opened an investigation into Coulibaly’s unexplained Madrid visit, which authorities believe lasted from December 30 until January 2, on Thursday.
According to one report, Coulibaly made the trip to transport five other individuals, including two brothers who had already been convicted in France on terror charges, to the airport in Madrid. There, the two brothers — Mehdi and Mohamed Belhoucine — as well as the wife and son of Mohamed Belhoiucine and Coulibaly’s own wife, Hayat Boumeddine, caught a flight to Turkey.
That report, from the French news agency AFP, states that the mysterious third man may have helped facilitate Boumeddiene’s escape to Syria via Turkey. The unidentified individual then returned to Paris with Coulibaly.
Police would also want to know whether that individual was the man police now suspect was a fourth gunman in the Paris terrorist attacks, one who was previously unknown and whose identity remains a total mystery.
The supposed fourth gunman is believed to have shot a man who was jogging through Fontenay-aux-Roses, a southwest suburb of Paris on January 7, the same day that two gunmen stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, cold-bloodedly murdering 11 staff members and a police officer on the street outside.
The 32-year-old jogger, whose name has not been released, survived the attack, although his wounds were extremely serious. He was able to provide police with a description of the man who shot him, saying that the mystery gunman appeared European and wore a black jacket with a fur collar.
Ballistic tests showed that the bullets fired at the jogger came from the same weapon that Coulibaly used to kill four people on January 9 in the kosher grocery store Hyper Cacher, before he was also killed in a hail of police gunfire.
The gunman who shot the jogger was not Coulibaly, police believe. That suspected terrorist is still on the loose, along with five other individuals who belonged to the same terrorist cell that carried out the Paris attacks, investigators now believe.