Islamist Terrorist Seizes Kosher Supermarket Near Paris in New Hostage Crisis, At Least 6 People Trapped Inside
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As French police attempt to capture the Charlie Hebdo terrorists currently under siege at a printing shop near Paris, a separate hostage crisis is underway at a kosher supermarket in the eastern Paris neighborhood of Porte de Vincennes. French media reports that the terrorist at the supermarket is refusing to release the remaining hostages, some of whom are said to be wounded, until the two Charlie Hebdo terrorists, Said and Cherif Kouachi, are allowed to go free – gunfire has again been reported at the print shop siege in Dammartin-En-Goele within the last hour, with smoke seen rising from the building’s interior. French media outlets are reporting that a Special Forces operation at the print shop is now underway.
French Jewish website JSSNews reported that the supermarket siege began at 1PM local time, shortly before the store was due to close for the Jewish sabbath.
The gunman has been identified as Ahmedi Koulibaly. Gael Fabiano, a spokesman for the Paris police, said that Koulibaly “is the same person” who murdered a 27 year old police officer in Montrouge, south of Paris, yesterday. Fabiano said that Koulibaly began firing his Kalashnikov as soon as he entered the kosher supermarket.
French newspaper Le Monde reported that Koulibaly is known to French police, who consider him “dangerous,” and that he is accompanied by a female companion, Hayat Boumeddiene. France 24 reported that Koulibaly is 33 and from Juvisy-sur-Orge in Ile-de-France. According to Le Monde, Coulibaly and one of the Charlie Hebdo terrorists, Cherif Kouachi, were two of the most committed followers of convicted terrorist Djamel Beghal. Telephone conversations reveal that the pair visited Beghal’s home in Murat in the south of France.
Levy Djian, a French rabbi based in New York, said that he’d spoken to contacts in Paris who informed him that a number of women and children are said to be trapped inside the supermarket. “People are very scared,” Rabbi Djian told The Algemeiner. “The Jewish community is hoping for the best outcome.” Between five and seven people are being held hostage. Rabbi Djian spoke to one woman in Paris whose brother-in-law is currently inside the supermarket; the man tried to hide in the basement of the store but was discovered by Koulibaly.
Jewish officials in Paris are urging the Jewish community to remain calm and not spread rumors. Synagogues will be open for sabbath services, but only individuals who are recognized by security staff will be permitted to enter.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that Israel is deeply concerned by the “terror offensive” in France.