Video: Paris grocery gunman claims allegiance to IS group

Posthumous video emerged Sunday of the gunman who killed a policewoman and four hostages at a kosher

PARIS — Posthumous video emerged Sunday of the gunman who killed a policewoman and four hostages at a kosher grocery, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group and defending the attacks on the satirical newspaper and the Jewish store.

Speaking fluent French and broken Arabic in the video, apparently filmed over several days, Amedy Coulibaly can be seen with a gun, exercising and giving speeches in front of an Islamic State emblem. He defends the attacks carried out on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, police and the Jewish store.

“What we are doing is completely legitimate, given what they are doing,” Coulibaly tells the camera. “You cannot attack and not expect retribution so you are playing the victim as if you don’t understand what’s happening.”

The SITE Intelligence Group said it had verified the video, and a former drug dealing associate of Coulibaly’s confirmed to The Associated Press the man in the video was indeed the slain hostage-taker. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to attract police attention.

Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death on the outskirts of Paris the day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, while the brothers who carried it out were on the run. On Friday, with the brothers cornered inside a printing house near Charles de Gaulle airport, he took over the kosher grocery, demanding freedom for the two.

After speaking in French in the video, Coulibaly continues in broken Arabic, stumbling over words he can’t pronounce that he seems to be reading from a paper. He mangles grammar as he gives his allegiance to the head of the Islamic State. He repeats a pact that other loyalists have used to pledge their fealty to the militant group and then calls for others to carry out similar attacks.

The video appears to have been filmed over several days. Coulibaly is wearing different clothing in different shots. Someone added text afterward detailing the bloody outcome. At one point, he says Charlie Hebdo will be attacked “tomorrow” and that he and the brothers — longtime acquaintances, according to judicial documents obtained by The Associated Press — were coordinating.

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

Five people detained in connection with the three days of bloodshed in France were released from custody, the Paris prosecutor’s spokeswoman said earlier Sunday. Family members of the attackers have been given preliminary charges, but prosecutor’s spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said no one remained in detention Sunday over the attacks that left 17 people dead.

Coulibaly’s widow, who has been named as an accomplice, is believed to have traveled to a Turkish city near the Syrian border and then all traces of her were lost, according to a Turkish intelligence official, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi methodically massacred 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo offices, led police on a chase for two days and were then cornered Friday at a printing house near Charles de Gaulle Airport. Separately, Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death and attacked the Paris kosher market, threatening more violence unless police let the Kouachis go. Four hostages died.

In Germany, arsonists early Sunday attacked a newspaper that republished Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons. Two men were detained. No one was hurt in the fire, but the newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost said several files in its archives were destroyed.

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