Hostage Interview: Coulibaly Said He Had Nothing Against Jews

One issue regarding the Kosher market attacks by Coulibaly continues to have conflicting information: his motive for picking the Kosher market. In his swan song video and his conversations recorded when his phone had not hung up after talking to a news station, he doesn't mention animosity towards Jews as a motive. His anger is directed at the French Government.

Now there's an interview with one of the hostages who he was talking to him during the incident, trying to empathize with him. The hostage says:

Google translated version: [More...]


He even said he had nothing against the Jews, but we were paying our taxes to the French State and thus we condone it. He said he knew the Kouachi brothers, he had been in prison with them


Il nous a même dit qu’il n’avait rien contre les Juifs, mais qu’on payait nos impôts à l’Etat français et donc qu’on le cautionnait. Il a dit qu’il connaissait bien les frères Kouachi, qu’il avait fait de la prison avec eux.

He got upset at one point seeing what was on the internet when a station reported no one had been killed.. He wanted to take credit for the killings, so he told the other hostages to try and get the station on the phone. When he did, he had a brief conversation with them but it was really the police he wanted to speak to. He wanted the news station to change its headlines to show he had killed four people. That is the only conversation about Jews I can find. His demands had nothing to do with Jews: He wanted France to stop attacking the Islamic State.

If the purpose of his acts was to strike out at France, and the market was just a convenient target, the the press should stop over-hyping the anti-Jewish angle. Jews have lived in France for hundreds of years, and they not should feel compelled to leave France. If the Jews were not his primary target, (the police, seem to be a target), the Jews in France should know be made aware of this. It might bring them some solace and relief.

ISIS considers Jews a "people of the book" and has said they can live freely under their control, they would have to pay a tax.

I'm not even convinced he picked the market because it was a kosher market, as it seems many Muslims in the neighborhood shop there, and at least one Muslim worked there. He had plenty of chances to kill some of the other hostages, and he didn't. He told a few he liked them. He let them help him with the computers and phones. I continue to believe his target was France not just the Jews in France. I hope I'm right so many more French Jews can relax a bit. ISIS has not attacked any Western group solely because of religion, and it doesn't seem to be on their radar in the immediate future. They are working on the Kurds, the Iraqis, JaN and other AQ groups that are criticizing Baghdadi and fighting ISIS.

In the past, I've said they seem like a lone wolf group of 3 (or 4 with Boumeddiene.)and I doubt that ISIS or AQ actively participated in or directed either attack. Check out this article at War on the Rocks. He makes several of the points I did here, he just explains them better. Here's the English translation of Coubali's video. And you'll learn a new term: Effective Barriers to Diffusion in Adaptive Networks or "the role of diffusion in the propagation of ideas w/in open networks and what barriers can be set." The word "diffusion" instead of "communication is used because "communication" infers sender/receiver. Spread of ideas w/in a network is more amorphous." It's no simple term, google it. Anyway, WOTR says:

With two competing poles and a spectrum of adherents littered throughout at least five continents, jihadi plots and their perpetrators might best be examined through the blending of three overlapping categories: ‘directed’, ‘networked’ and ‘inspired’. These three labels should not be seen as discrete categories but instead as phases across a spectrum – some plots and their perpetrators will bleed over these boundaries.

It's a bit over my head but I get the gist, and it's what I was trying to say in arguing why it's unlikely ISIS or al Qaida directed the Paris attacks. These three or four people had a kind of network on their own, and they didn't need anyone telling them what to do, and because of their long standing friendship, they could work together even though two had an allegiance to al Qaida and one had an allegiance to ISIS. And the fact that they did, does not mean JaN and ISIS are about to bury their hatchets and team up.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I can understand why you would want to (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 12:35:17 PM EST
    believe this, Jeralyn.  What I can't understand is why you do believe it.

    I said it needs to be further clarified (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 12:55:43 PM EST
    I do want to believe it, I don't know the answer. See my comment above.

    I don't know the answer either. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 01:31:19 PM EST
    I'm 59 and almost glad I'll miss the endgame.

    Trust me, (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 08:09:12 PM EST
    Blacks know what racism is and when it's being expressed, and,


    Jews, also, know what anti-Semitism is and when it's being expressed

    regardless of how solemn, pious, and genuine sounding the dog whistling denials seem.


    Eli Vaknin is a survivor who (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 09:24:01 AM EST
    Says he also "befriended" Coulibaly during the attack, and he says he survived by convincing Coulibaly he was Muslim.  He says Coulibaly screamed he would kill all Jews, Christians, and non-believers.


    4 Killed at Kosher Market Buried (none / 0) (#2)
    by Green26 on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 11:07:44 AM EST
    in Jerusalem. Looks like all 4 killed at the market were Jews. This NY Times article indicates that Jews in Paris are very concerned. The concern about the safety of their school kids hit home with me.

    their concern is justified given the (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 12:54:17 PM EST
    increase in antisemitic attacks. I've written about that several times, see here, even before these attacks. It's just that this attack seems to be increasing the numbers who say they will leave, which I  think is really sad, so I think it's important to get the motivation right.

    In another portion of his conversation with the hostage he disagrees when the hostage says he doesn't have a choice about paying taxes. He says, at 1:46 into the recording, "You don't have a choice? You have a choice, you can go live in Israel..." So he is speaking to a hostage he believes is Jewish. He doesn't kill him and he doesn't seem to suggest they have no right to live. All his rants in these conversations which he didn't know were being recorded are about the government. There seems to be conflicting information about his motives, I'd just like to see it cleared up.  



    Unfortunately, (none / 0) (#7)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 02:21:26 PM EST
    We may never get this cleared up.

    After 9/11, I thought they (none / 0) (#8)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jan 13, 2015 at 03:58:44 PM EST
    would keep hitting big venues, like the Super Bowl, and other large events.  This doesn't seem to be the case since they hit a market that both Jews and Arabs frequent.  I'm confused.  What is their message?

    Fortunately, I was (none / 0) (#10)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 09:04:28 AM EST
    sick and asleep when I typed this drivel...

    You need to (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 07:35:21 PM EST
    take care of yourself, fish, and don't worry about anything else. And it's not drivel.
    I hope that you are feeling better, my brother.  Listen to your doctors.  I am sending healing thoughts your way.

    To Jeralyn, a question about the interview (none / 0) (#12)
    by Terrella on Tue Oct 04, 2016 at 06:31:45 PM EST
    To Jeralyn, I sympathize with Coulibaly. You wrote:"He had plenty of chances to kill some of the other hostages, and he didn't. He told a few he liked them. He let them help him with the computers and phones."
    I hold positive feelings towards Coulibaly, although he has carried out attack which involved killings.
    And I believe there is a possibility that he did not kill the other hostages, because he had a dialogue with them, because they helped him, listen to him and talk to him.
    But, When did you find that he told few hostages that he liked them?
    Was it said by one of the hostages? Where?
    If a hostage said it, I would be very happy to know, as it supports the idea that Coulibaly did not want to harm the other hostages because of their interaction with him.
    Thanks for your attention.