Amedy Coulibaly

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Amedy Coulibaly
Born (1982-02-27)27 February 1982
Juvisy-sur-Orge, Île-de-France, France
Died 9 January 2015(2015-01-09) (aged 32)
Paris, France
Cause of death Ballistic trauma
Resting place In Muslim section of cemetery in Thiais, France[1]
Nationality French
Other names Abou Bassir Abdallah al-Ifriqi
Occupation Unemployed; previously Coca Cola worker[2]
Known for
Height 5 ft 5 in (165 cm)[3]
Criminal charge Robbery, drug trafficking, assisting plot to break out Islamist terrorist from prison (December 2013)
Criminal penalty Five years in prison
Criminal status Convicted; Released early, in March 2014
Spouse(s) Hayat Boumeddiene
Allegiance Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Capture status
Partner(s) Saïd and Chérif Kouachi
Date 8–9 January 2015
  • Patrons of kosher supermarket
  • Police officer
  • Jogger
Killed 5
Injured 11

Amedy Coulibaly (French pronunciation: ​[amɛdi kulibali]; 27 February 1982 – 9 January 2015) was a Malian-French man who was the prime suspect in the Montrouge shooting, in which municipal police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe was shot and killed, and was the hostage-taker and gunman in the Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket siege, in which he killed four hostages before being killed by police.

He was a close friend of Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, the gunmen in the Charlie Hebdo shooting, to which Coulibaly's shootings were connected. He said he synchronized his attacks with the Kouachi brothers.[6][7] Coulibaly had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[8]

His wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, is currently being sought by French police as a suspected accomplice of Coulibaly, alleged to have helped him commit his attacks. She arrived in Turkey five days before the attacks.[9] She has been described by newspapers as "France's most wanted woman". She was last tracked on 10 January 2015 to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-controlled border town of Tell Abyad in Syria.

Early life[edit]

Coulibaly grew up on La Grande Borne housing estate.

Coulibaly was born in Juvisy-sur-Orge, a suburb south-east of Paris, into a Malian Muslim immigrant family.[10][11] He was the only boy, with nine sisters. He grew up on a housing estate, La Grande Borne, in Grigny, south of Paris.[12]

Starting at the age of 17, he was convicted five times for armed robbery and at least once for drug trafficking.[11][13] A report by a psychiatric expert prepared for a Parisian court found Coulibaly had an "immature and psychopathic personality" and "poor powers of introspection".[14]

Activities prior to 2015 shootings[edit]

In 2004, Coulibaly was sentenced to six years in Fleury-Mérogis Prison for armed bank robbery.[13] There, he met Chérif Kouachi. He is believed to have converted to radical Islam in prison at the same time as Chérif.[15] In prison he also met al-Qaeda recruiter Djamel Beghal, who was in "isolation" in the cell above him but whom he was nevertheless able to communicate with.[16] He later said that his discovery of Islam in prison changed him.[17]

After release from prison he married Hayat Boumeddiene on 5 July 2009 in an Islamic religious ceremony.[13][18][19][20] Boumeddiene's father stood in for her at the marriage service.[13] On 15 July 2009, while involved in an effort promoting youth employment, Coulibaly, along with about 500 others, met with then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.[21]

A source stated that Coulibaly "was friends of both of" the Kouachi brothers, and he had first met Cherif in prison.[22][23] Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers were known members of the "Buttes-Chaumont network" (fr). The name comes from the nearby Parc des Buttes Chaumont, where they often met and performed military-style training exercises with other French-Algerian extremists.[24][25][26] Coulibaly is believed to have been radicalised by an Islamic preacher in Paris, and had expressed a desire to fight in either Iraq or Syria.[27]

Ten months after his meeting with Sarkozy, in May 2010 police arrested him and searched his apartment. They found ammunition, a crossbow, and letters seeking false official documents.[13][28] Coulibaly maintained that he was planning to sell the ammunition on the street.[15] In December 2013 he was sentenced to five years in prison for supplying ammunition for a plot to break out from prison radical French-Algerian Islamist Smain Ait Ali Belkacem (who had planned the 1995 Paris Métro and RER bombings),[29][30][31] a plot in which the Kouachi brothers were also involved.[23] However, Coulibaly was released early from Villepinte prison outside Paris, in March 2014.[32][33][34] He was required to wear an electronic bracelet until May 2014.[30]

In August 2014, Coulibaly and his wife approached a Jewish school, and inquired if there were Jews inside.[30] The security guard asked them to leave.[30]

A week before the attacks, on 4 January 2015 Coulibaly rented a house in Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, in the southern Paris suburbs. There, after the attacks, police discovered automatic weapons, a grenade launcher, smoke grenades and bombs, handguns, industrial explosives, and flags of the Islamic State.[31][35][36]

He had pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as he put it, "as soon as the caliphate was declared," which was in the summer of 2014.[31] He stated this, and described how he and the Kouachi brothers had synchronized their attacks and were "a team, in league together," in a video posted on Twitter days after he and the brothers were killed.[6][8][31][37][38][38][39] Text in the video states that Coulibaly had killed a policewoman and "five Jews."[39] The video captions him with the names "Amedy Coulibaly" and "Abou Bassir Abdallah al-Ifriqi".[6] As the video includes news reports of his attack on the kosher supermarket, it was edited by someone after he was killed.[40]

Shootings on 7–9 January 2015[edit]

Coulibaly is said to be responsible for three shootings, and he said he synchronized his attacks with the Kouachi brothers.[6] In the shootings, five people were killed and eleven others were wounded.

The first shooting was of a jogger who was wounded on the evening of 7 January in Fontenay-aux-Roses. Shell casings found at the scene were later linked to the weapon carried by Coulibaly in his kosher supermarket attack.[6]

The second shooting occurred in Montrouge on 8 January. Clarissa Jean-Philippe, an unarmed French policewoman, was killed, and a street sweeper was critically injured. DNA found at the scene was a match to Coulibaly.[1][6][41]

The third shooting took place at Porte de Vincennes, east Paris, on 9 January. Coulibaly killed four more people, all Jewish patrons at a Jewish Hypercacher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes, at the outset of an hours-long siege in which he demanded that the Kouachi brothers be freed.[5][7][38][42][43][44][45][46] At the outset of that attack, he introduced himself to his hostages, saying: "I am Amedy Coulibaly, Malian and Muslim. I belong to the Islamic State."[47] French commandos stormed the store, and killed Coulibaly.[41] He left in his car maps indicating the locations of Jewish schools in Paris.[48] * A Nagant M1895 revolver was also found in the possession of Coulibaly.[49]


After Mali refused to accept Coulibaly's body for burial, he was buried in an unmarked grave in the Muslim section of a cemetery in Thiais.[1][50]

His wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, is currently being sought by French police as a suspected accomplice of Coulibaly, alleged to have helped him commit his attacks. She arrived in Turkey five days before the attacks.[9] She has been described by newspapers as "France's most wanted woman". She was last tracked on 10 January 2015 to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-controlled border town of Tell Abyad in Syria.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Kosher deli Islamist Amedy Coulibaly is buried in the Muslim section of Paris cemetery". Colorado Newsday. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Hunt for Hayat: Where is she?". 10 January 2015. 
  3. ^ John-Thor Dahlburg. "Paris attacker's safe house could hold clues to 4th attacker amid fear of new strike". The Hamilton Spectator. 
  4. ^ David Chazan (17 January 2015). "Charlie Hebdo attack: French police investigate whether there was a fourth Paris gunman". The Telegraph. 
  5. ^ a b "Charlie Hebdo shooting: Amedy Coulibaly linked to attack on jogger after magazine massacre". ABC News. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f David Gauthier-Villars in Paris, Asa Fitch in Dubai and Raja Abdulrahim in Beirut (12 January 2015). "Islamic State Releases Video Calling Grocery Store Gunman Its 'Soldier'". The Wall Street Journal. 
  7. ^ a b Le suspect de Montrouge, Amedy Coulibaly, était bien le tireur de Vincennes, Le Monde (in French)
  8. ^ a b Jane Onyanga-Omara (11 January 2015). "Video shows Paris gunman pledging allegiance to Islamic State". USA Today. 
  9. ^ a b "Islamic State magazine interviews Hayat Boumeddiene". Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  10. ^ "Attentats: la mère et les soeurs de Coulibaly "condamnent ces actes odieux"". Le Parisien (in French). 11 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Europe on Alert for Terror Attacks". CNN. 
  12. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attackers: born, raised and radicalised in Paris", The Guardian, 12 January 2015
  13. ^ a b c d e Stacy Meichtry, Noémie Bisserbe and Benoît Faucon (14 January 2015). "Paris Attacker Amedy Coulibaly's Path to Terror". The Wall Street Journal. 
  14. ^ "Amedy Coulibaly, Paris Kosher Market Terrorist, Had History Of Ties To Violence". The Huffington Post. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Terrorist Amedy Coulibaly met former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009, years before Paris murder spree". Daily News. New York. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "MTV Lebanon – The making of a French jihadi". 
  17. ^ NOEMIE BISSERBE (31 July 2016). "European Prisons Fueling Spread of Islamic Radicalism". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 'Prison changed me,' Coulibaly would later tell French journalist Warda Mohamed after his release in 2008. Ms. Mohamed, a French journalist who interviewed Coulibaly as part of a documentary on prison life, said she didn't publish the comments at the time. 'I learnt about Islam in prison. Before that I wasn’t interested, now I pray,' Coulibaly told Ms. Mohamed, she said. 
  18. ^ François Labrouillère et Aurélie Raya (30 January 2015). "Hayat Boumeddiene et Amedy Coulibaly – Le destin monstrueux d'un couple ordinaire". Paris Match (in French). 
  19. ^ "France – Manhunt on for female accomplice in French attacks". France 24. 
  20. ^ "From bikini babe to burka-clad jihadi fighter with a crossbow: 'Wife' of Kosher supermarket killer becomes France's most wanted woman after going on the run". Daily Mail. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "Paris Attacker Met French President in 2009". Time. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly: comrades in terrorism". 9 January 2015. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Charlie Hebdo attack: Hayat Boumeddiene may be in Syria; Common law wife of supermarket attacker is believed have passed through Turkey on Jan. 2", CBC News
  24. ^ "Suspect in Paris attack had 'long-term obsession' carrying out terror attack". The Washington Post. 
  25. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attack: the Kouachi brothers and the network of French Islamists with links to Islamic State". The Telegraph. 8 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "'Buttes Chaumont' network behind Paris attacks". Channel 4. 9 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "Shooting of Paris police officer LINKED to Charlie Hebdo massacre". Daily Express. 9 January 2015. 
  28. ^ "Hunt For Terrorist's Wife As More Attacks Feared". MSN. 
  29. ^ "Hayat Boumeddiene Interviewed By Police In 2010". Business Insider. 12 January 2015. 
  30. ^ a b c d "Paris Kosher Supermarket Gunman Amedy Coulibaly Caught on Tape Casing Jewish School in August". Tablet Magazine. 
  31. ^ a b c d Rukmini Callimachi and Andrew Higginjan (11 January 2015). "Video Shows a Paris Gunman Declaring His Loyalty to the Islamic State", The New York Times
  32. ^ Noémie Bisserbe, Benoît Faucon And Stacy Meichtry (30 January 2015). "Underground Terror Network Said to Benefit Would-Be Jihadists in Europe". The Wall Street Journal. 
  33. ^ "Who Is Amedy Coulibaly? Paris Kosher Deli Gunman Once Worked For Coca-Cola, Was Close With Kouachi Brothers". International Business Times. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  34. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini; Yardley, Jim (17 January 2015). "Chérif and Saïd Kouachi's Path to Paris Attack at Charlie Hebdo". New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  35. ^ "Paris attacks: Investigators turn up new leads". BBC News. 
  36. ^ "Paris gunman's safe house could hold clues to 4th-attacker" Archived 20 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine., Fox 12 Oregon
  37. ^ "4 Men In Paris Court Are 1st To Face Terror Attacks Charges". The Huffington Post. 
  38. ^ a b c "Amedy Coulibaly Isis video: Footage shows Paris supermarket gunman pledging allegiance to 'Islamic State'". The Independent. 
  39. ^ a b "Jihadi video of Amedy Coulibaly emerges from beyond the grave; Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four people in a Jewish grocery, says he helped to fund the Kouachi brothers' attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo". The Telegraph. 11 January 2015. 
  40. ^ Shiv Malik. "Paris supermarket attacker claims allegiance to Islamic State in video". The Guardian. 
  41. ^ a b Dion Dassanayake. "Jewish supermarket siege: Heroic hostage executed after trying to turn weapon on gunman". Daily Express. 
  42. ^ "France's most wanted woman may have traveled to Syria, reports say". Fox News. 
  43. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attack: Manhunt – live reporting". BBC News. 9 January 2015. 
  44. ^ "Paris shooting updates / Charlie Hebdo attackers take hostage after car chase". Haaretz. 9 January 2015. 
  45. ^ Ce que l'on sait de l'agression d'un joggeur à Fontenay-aux-RosesLe Monde – Emeline Cazi – 11 January 2014 (in French)
  46. ^ "Paris gunman Amedy Coulibaly declared allegiance to Isis". The Guardian. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  47. ^ "Amid the terror, a hero who lost his life by fighting back". The Telegraph. 10 January 2015. 
  48. ^ [1]
  49. ^ "Hoe een antieke revolver in handen kwam van criminelen en terroristen". Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  50. ^ "Terrorist buried near Paris after Mali rejects corpse". New York Post.