Paris attacker seen in ISIL allegiance video

Video emerges of Amedy Coulibaly, who seized hostages in kosher store, defending deadly attacks on Charlie Hebdo.

    A video has emerged of one of the armed men carrying out the Paris attacks pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    The video of Amedy Coulibaly, 32, who seized hostages in a Paris kosher supermarket on Friday and killed a policewoman, was circulated by the video-sharing website Dailymotion on Sunday.

    The clip shows Coulibaly with a gun, exercising and giving speeches in front of an ISIL emblem.

    He defends the attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, police and the Jewish store.

    "What we are doing is completely legitimate, given what they are doing," he told the camera in French.

    "You cannot attack and not expect retribution so you are playing the victim as if you don't understand what's happening.''

    Before the video emerged, French radio station RTL had released an audio recording purporting to be a phone call from Coulibaly during the siege of the supermarket.

    Military campaigns

    In the recording, a man claiming to be Coulibaly condemns Western military campaigns in Syria and Mali.

    Assistant Professor at Qatar University offers caution over video

    "If they [Muslims] hadn't been attacked elsewhere, I would not have done this," the man said.

    Coulibaly took over the kosher grocery on Friday, demanding freedom for the Kouachi brothers who carried out the deadly shooting at Charlie Hebdo. Four hostages were killed in the siege.

    At the time, the brothers were trapped in a printing house near Charles de Gaulle airport. 

    All three men were killed in nearly simultaneous raids by security forces.

    Coulibaly, born in France and of African origin, was known to police before the Paris attacks.

    As well as one of the brothers that carried out the attack on Charlie Hebdo, Coulibaly is said to have been a member of the Buttes-Chaumont network that police thought they had dismantled in 2005.

    Freed from custody

    The Buttes-Chaumont network trained and financed at least a dozen French volunteers to fight in Iraq.

    Like Cherif Kouachi, one of the Charlie Hebdo suspects, Coulibaly was arrested in 2010 for plotting the escape of a man jailed on terrorism charges.

    While Kouachi walked free from custody, Coulibaly was sentenced to five years in prison in December 2013 but was released less than a year later as he had already spent three years in detention.

    He had previously been convicted for crimes ranging from armed robberies to drug dealing, according to France's Liberation newspaper.

    He is the partner of Hayat Boumeddiene - currently wanted internationally over her links to the Paris attackers.

    French media reports suggest she left France in early January and travelled to Syria via Turkey.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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