Preparations for Paris Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher Massacres Revealed in Emails Between Terrorist and Handler
Email exchanges between one of the perpetrators behind the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks in Paris and an unknown “handler” were obtained by the French daily Le Monde, according to a France24 report on Saturday.
The emails — discovered by investigators into the January 7 murder of 12 employees of the satiricial newspaper and January 9 killing of four Jewish hostages taken at the kosher grocery chain — purportedly show details of plans leading up to the multiple slayings.
Though, according to Le Monde, most of the messages between Amedy Coulibaly — killed by French commandos who stormed the store — and an anonymous person from abroad were encrypted, a few were clear.
One of Coulibaly’s mails read: “I’ve got an AK47 with 275 rounds and six Tokarevs [semi-automatic handguns] with 69 rounds.”
He sent this message, which went on, “I also have three bullet-proof vests, tactical jackets, tear gas grenades and a stun gun,” mere hours after his close friends, Said and Cherif Kouachi, committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
The person who received the message, whom investigators believe may have been stationed outside of France, replied later that day in recognizable French “SMS-speak” and gave Coulibaly instructions, Le Monde reported.
“OK, do what you can, go home and sleep then hide and check [email] address 1 every day,” the message read. “Further information will come soon regarding friends who will help. Get rid of your SIM card, check address 1, address 2 is finished.”
A final email from the unknown individual, sent on Jan. 8, told Coulibaly that if he is unable to find an accomplice, he should work alone, but should try to “track down and work with the ‘Zigots,'” the code name for the Kouachi brothers.”If possible, in your video explain that you gave them the tools in the name of D [for Daesh, the Arabic word for ISIS] and say which weapons you used.”
The “video” referred to in the message is the suicide-mission tape, which Coulibaly prepared prior to his attacks, in which he said he committed the supermarket attack on behalf of ISIS.
The Kouachi brothers, who ended up being gunned down in a protracted battle with police, had claimed affiliation with the Yemen-based “Al Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP),” according to France24. AQAP spokesman Nasser Ben Ali Al Anassi posted a video on Jan. 9 confirming this.
Le Monde reported that the uncovered emails “suggest that there may have been a link” between ISIS and AQAP.