French police in front Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris after Islamist gunmen kills 4 Jewish men

Charlie Hebdo, kosher store attack accomplices face trial five years on

Defendants face charges including financing terrorism, membership in a terrorist organization and supplying weapons to perpetrators of an event that initiated a wave of Islamist violence in France

Ynet, Reuters |
Published: 09.02.20 , 13:14
Fourteen alleged accomplices to the Islamist gunmen who attacked the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris went on trial on Wednesday, as the country recalled, five years on, a dark episode that marked the onset of a wave of militant violence.
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  • On Jan. 7, 2015, Said and Cherif Kouachi, armed with automatic weapons, went on the rampage in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, whose satire on race, religion and politics tested the limits of what society would accept in the name of free speech.
    French police in front Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris after Islamist gunmen kills 4 Jewish men French police in front Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris after Islamist gunmen kills 4 Jewish men
    French police in front Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris after Islamist gunmen kills 4 Jewish men
    (Photo: EPA)
    They killed 12 in an attack claimed by al Qaeda.
    The following day, Amedy Coulibaly, an acquaintance of Cherif Kouachi, shot dead a female police officer. On Jan. 9, Coulibaly, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State, stormed into Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris and took the establishment's customers and employees hostage in demand for police to release the Kouachis took hostages at a printing house in Dammartin-en-Goele near Charles de Gaulle Airport, prompting a daylong standoff with police.
    He murdered Yohan Cohen, 22, and Yoav Hattab, 21, Philippe Braham, 45, and François-Michel Saada, 64 - all Jewish men - before being killed in a police raid.
    Marie, a Jewish customer who had been one of the hostages inside the Kosher supermarket, described the first moments of the attack when Amedy Coulibaly arrived at the supermarket.
    The victims of the Hyper Chacher shootingThe victims of the Hyper Chacher shooting
    The victims of the Hyper Cacher shooting
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    "He came in wearing a bullet-proof vest. He had two Kalashnikov rifles, a gun and a knife. He shot two people at the entrance. One of the customers tried to take one of his weapons, but was unable to fire. (Coulibaly) shot him in the head immediately," said Marie. The brave customer is believed to be Yohan Cohen.
    Marie, who was interviewed by the BFMTV TV channel, described a horrifying scene inside the supermarket. She said one male victim lay on the ground and died during the wait for police to arrive at the scene.
    According to Marie, one of the supermarket workers was able to hide and direct police forces on how to enter the site while another individual was able to flee to an elevator, carrying the keys to the supermarket with him, which he took to the top floor of the market where he left the building using an emergency exit. He was then able to give the keys to police.
    Despite the scarring scenes she witnessed, Marie says she will not let the attack frighten her. "I have no intention of staying locked up at home and or being scared," said Marie after the attack.
    Hyper Cacher shooter Amedy Coulibaly pldeges allegiance to Islamic State in video Hyper Cacher shooter Amedy Coulibaly pldeges allegiance to Islamic State in video
    Hyper Cacher shooter Amedy Coulibaly pldeges allegiance to Islamic State in video
    The four victims were posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour by the French Republic.
    At the instigation of the Israeli government, and after some pressure on the families, it was decided that they should be buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem on 13 January 2015.
    The funeral was attended by thousands, some holding signs reading "Je suis juif" [I am a Jew] or "Je suis Israelien" [I am Israeli], with pictures of the four victims.
    During the ceremony, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, and French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal gave brief speeches.
    Thousands participate in funeral precession in Jerusalem of Hyper Cacher victims Thousands participate in funeral precession in Jerusalem of Hyper Cacher victims
    Thousands participate in funeral precession in Jerusalem of Hyper Cacher victims
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Royal said, "Anti-Semitism has no place in France. I want to assure you of the unfailing determination of the French government to fight against all forms and acts of anti-Semitism."
    In the courtroom on Wednesday, security officers wearing balaclavas and bullet-proof vests took up positions, before defendants were brought in to the room.
    The defendants, three of whom will be tried in absentia and may be dead, face charges including financing terrorism, membership in a terrorist organization and supplying weapons to the perpetrators.
    The defendants not in the courtroom include Hayat Boumedienne, Coulibaly's partner at the time of the attacks, and brothers Mohamed and Mehdi Belhoucine. All three traveled to areas of Syria under Islamic State control days before the attacks and may be dead.
    צרפת פתיחת משפט סיוע למחבלים שרלי הבדו היפר כשר פריזצרפת פתיחת משפט סיוע למחבלים שרלי הבדו היפר כשר פריז
    French serviceman standing outside court before trial of Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Cacher attack accomplices
    (Photo: EPA)
    The trial, which will run for 10 weeks and be filmed throughout, is likely to evoke painful memories.
    More than 250 people have been killed in France in Islamist violence since the attacks, which laid bare France's struggle to counter the threat of homegrown militants and foreign jihadists.
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