Amedy Coulibaly

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Amedy Coulibaly
Born(1982-02-27)27 February 1982
Died9 January 2015(2015-01-09) (aged 32)
Paris, France
Cause of deathBallistic trauma
Resting placeIn Muslim section of cemetery in Thiais, France[1]
Other namesAbou Bassir Abdallah al-Ifriqi
OccupationUnemployed; previously Coca-Cola worker[2]
Known for
Criminal statusConvicted; Released early, in March 2014
Spouse(s)Hayat Boumeddiene
AllegianceIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Criminal chargeRobbery, drug trafficking, assisting plot to break out Islamist terrorist from prison (December 2013)
PenaltyFive years in prison
Capture status
Partner(s)Saïd and Chérif Kouachi
Date8–9 January 2015
  • Patrons of kosher supermarket
  • Police officer

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.[5][6] Coulibaly had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[7]

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.[8][9] He was the only boy, with nine sisters. He grew up on a housing estate, La Grande Borne, in Grigny, south of Paris.[10]

Starting at the age of 17, he was convicted five times for armed robbery and at least once for drug trafficking.[9][11] A report by a psychiatric expert prepared for a Parisian court found Coulibaly had an "immature and psychopathic personality" and "poor powers of introspection".[12]

Activities prior to 2015 shootings[edit]

In 2004, Coulibaly was sentenced to six years in Fleury-Mérogis Prison for armed bank robbery.[11] There, he met Chérif Kouachi. He is believed to have converted to radical Islam in prison at the same time as Chérif.[13] 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.[14] He later said that his discovery of Islam in prison changed him.[15]

In 2007, he met and began dating Hayat Boumeddiene. On 5 July 2009, they got married in an Islamic religious ceremony.[11][16][17] Boumeddiene's father stood in for her at the marriage service.[11] On 15 July 2009, while involved in an effort promoting youth employment, Coulibaly, along with about 500 others, met with then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.[18]

A source stated that Coulibaly "was friends of both of" the Kouachi brothers, and he had first met Cherif in prison.[19][20] 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.[21][22][23] 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.[24]

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.[11][25] Coulibaly maintained that he was planning to sell the ammunition on the street.[13] 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),[26][27][28] a plot in which the Kouachi brothers were also involved.[20] However, Coulibaly was released early from Villepinte prison outside Paris, in March 2014.[29][30][31] He was required to wear an electronic bracelet until May 2014.[27]

In October 2014, he and Boumeddiene went to perform the Hajj in Mecca, the pilgrimage obligatory for every Muslim who is able to do so.[11][16]

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.[28][32][33]

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.[28] 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.[5][7][28][34][35][35][36] Text in the video states that Coulibaly had killed a policewoman and "five Jews."[36] The video captions him with the names "Amedy Coulibaly" and "Abou Bassir Abdallah al-Ifriqi".[5] As the video includes news reports of his attack on the kosher supermarket, it was edited by someone after he was killed.[37]

Shootings on 7–9 January 2015[edit]

Coulibaly said he synchronized his attacks with the Kouachi brothers.[5] 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.[5] However, the jogger refuted Coulibaly's involvement and recognized Amar Ramdani, a friend of Coulibaly, as the gunman.[38]

The second shooting occurred in Montrouge on 8 January. Clarissa Jean-Philippe, a policewoman, was killed, and a street sweeper was critically injured. DNA found at the scene was a match to Coulibaly.[1][5][39]

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.[4][6][35][40][41][42][43][44] 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."[45] French commandos stormed the store, and killed Coulibaly.[39] A Nagant M1895 revolver was also found in the possession of Coulibaly.[46]


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][47]

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.[48] 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. In early March 2019, Dorothee Maquere – wife of French jihadist Fabien Clain – claimed that Boumeddiene was killed during the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani due to injuries sustained from an airstrike on her safehouse.[49]

In March 2020, a French jihadist woman told a judge that she met Boumeddiene in October 2019 at the Al Howl camp; Boumeddiene was staying under a false identity and managed to escape.[50] French intelligence services think that this piece of information is plausible.

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. ^ David Chazan (17 January 2015). "Charlie Hebdo attack: French police investigate whether there was a fourth Paris gunman". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ a b "Charlie Hebdo shooting: Amedy Coulibaly linked to attack on jogger after magazine massacre". ABC News. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b Le suspect de Montrouge, Amedy Coulibaly, était bien le tireur de Vincennes, Le Monde (in French)
  7. ^ a b Jane Onyanga-Omara (11 January 2015). "Video shows Paris gunman pledging allegiance to Islamic State". USA Today.
  8. ^ "Attentats: la mère et les soeurs de Coulibaly "condamnent ces actes odieux"". Le Parisien (in French). 11 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Europe on Alert for Terror Attacks". CNN.
  10. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attackers: born, raised and radicalised in Paris", The Guardian, 12 January 2015
  11. ^ a b c d e f Stacy Meichtry, Noémie Bisserbe and Benoît Faucon (14 January 2015). "Paris Attacker Amedy Coulibaly's Path to Terror". The Wall Street Journal.
  12. ^ "Amedy Coulibaly, Paris Kosher Market Terrorist, Had History Of Ties To Violence". The Huffington Post. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "MTV Lebanon – The making of a French jihadi".
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ a b François Labrouillère et Aurélie Raya (30 January 2015). "Hayat Boumeddiene et Amedy Coulibaly – Le destin monstrueux d'un couple ordinaire". Paris Match (in French).
  17. ^ "France – Manhunt on for female accomplice in French attacks". France 24.
  18. ^ "Paris Attacker Met French President in 2009". Time. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  19. ^ "The Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly: comrades in terrorism". 9 January 2015. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015.
  20. ^ 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
  21. ^ "Suspect in Paris attack had 'long-term obsession' carrying out terror attack". The Washington Post.
  22. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attack: the Kouachi brothers and the network of French Islamists with links to Islamic State". The Telegraph. 8 January 2015.
  23. ^ "'Buttes Chaumont' network behind Paris attacks". Channel 4. 9 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Shooting of Paris police officer LINKED to Charlie Hebdo massacre". Daily Express. 9 January 2015.
  25. ^ "Hunt For Terrorist's Wife As More Attacks Feared". MSN.
  26. ^ "Hayat Boumeddiene Interviewed By Police In 2010". Business Insider. 12 January 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Paris Kosher Supermarket Gunman Amedy Coulibaly Caught on Tape Casing Jewish School in August". Tablet Magazine.
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ "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.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "Paris attacks: Investigators turn up new leads". BBC News.
  33. ^ "Paris gunman's safe house could hold clues to 4th-attacker" Archived 20 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Fox 12 Oregon
  34. ^ "4 Men In Paris Court Are 1st To Face Terror Attacks Charges". The Huffington Post.
  35. ^ a b c "Amedy Coulibaly Isis video: Footage shows Paris supermarket gunman pledging allegiance to 'Islamic State'". The Independent.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Shiv Malik. "Paris supermarket attacker claims allegiance to Islamic State in video". The Guardian.
  38. ^ ""Pour moi, ce n'était pas Amédy Coulibaly qui m'a tiré dessus"". Paris Match. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  39. ^ a b Dion Dassanayake. "Jewish supermarket siege: Heroic hostage executed after trying to turn weapon on gunman". Daily Express.
  40. ^ "France's most wanted woman may have traveled to Syria, reports say". Fox News. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  41. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attack: Manhunt – live reporting". BBC News. 9 January 2015.
  42. ^ "Paris shooting updates / Charlie Hebdo attackers take hostage after car chase". Haaretz. 9 January 2015.
  43. ^ Ce que l'on sait de l'agression d'un joggeur à Fontenay-aux-RosesLe Monde – Emeline Cazi – 11 January 2014 (in French)
  44. ^ "Paris gunman Amedy Coulibaly declared allegiance to Isis". The Guardian. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  45. ^ "Amid the terror, a hero who lost his life by fighting back". The Telegraph. 10 January 2015.
  46. ^ "Hoe een antieke revolver in handen kwam van criminelen en terroristen". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  47. ^ Steinbuch, Yaron (23 January 2015). "Terrorist buried near Paris after Mali rejects corpse". New York Post. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  48. ^ "Islamic State magazine interviews Hayat Boumeddiene". Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  49. ^ El Deeb, Sarah (4 March 2019). "Prominent French jihadis killed in IS-held area in Syria". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  50. ^ "Hayat Boumeddiene vivante ? Une enquête ouverte après qu'une jihadiste affirme l'avoir croisée dans un camp en Syrie". France 2. 14 May 2020.