Paris attacks: Coulibaly 'given orders by email'

Composite image of Hayat Boumeddiene (L) with Amedy Coulibaly Image copyright AFP
Image caption Amedy Coulibaly (R) was suspected of having help from Hayat Boumeddiene, who then disappeared

Amedy Coulibaly, the Paris gunman who murdered five people in two attacks in January, was sent instructions on the day of his first shooting, reports say.

An email was found on his computer ordering him to "work alone" and "start again several times", says BFMTV.

Coulibaly shot dead a policewoman and then murdered four Jewish customers at a kosher supermarket the next day.

He was killed at the end of the supermarket siege on the same day the two other Paris gunmen were shot dead.

Cherif and Said Kouachi murdered 12 people at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on 7 January, the day before Coulibaly's first attack.

According to the French report, investigators found the email on a computer belonging to Coulibaly. It had been sent at 17:21, hours after he had murdered policewoman Clarissa Jean-Philippe, 27, and filed into Coulibaly's trash folder by 19:00.

Because the sender had used a fake, US-based email account, his identity could not be established, although the message was thought to have originated in Syria. Coulibaly had expressed his allegiance to Islamic State (IS) militants while the Kouachi brothers had backed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The emailer left the choice of a next target up to Coulibaly but suggested he steer clear of central Paris, presumably because of increased security after the Charlie Hebdo murders.

"Perhaps suburbs if problem in centre - you'll see what's best," the order said, adding that he should "pick the easiest and most certain targets".

According to the French report, Coulibaly was also instructed to make contact with the Kouachi brothers and make a video. There is also a promise to take care of Coulibaly's partner, Hayat Boumeddiene, who left France for Syria before the attacks took place.

Has Charlie Hebdo legacy turned sour?

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Media captionZineb el-Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo journalist: ''I think that we will face more and more censorship... more and more fear''

Paris attack victims

Charlie Hebdo offices:

  • Charlie Hebdo editor and cartoonist Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier, 47, who had been living under police protection since receiving death threats
  • Cartoonists Jean "Cabu" Cabut, 76; Bernard "Tignous" Verlhac, 57; Georges Wolinski, 80; and Philippe Honore, 73
  • Elsa Cayat, 54, psychoanalyst and columnist, the only woman killed
  • Economist and regular magazine columnist Bernard Maris, 68, known to readers as Uncle Bernard
  • Michel Renaud, visiting from the city of Clermont-Ferrand
  • Mustapha Ourrad, proof-reader
  • Police officer Ahmed Merabet, 42, who was shot dead in a nearby street after the attack
  • Frederic Boisseau, 42, caretaker, in the reception area at the time of the attack
  • Franck Brinsolaro, 49, a police officer who acted as Charb's bodyguard

Montrouge shooting

  • Clarissa Jean-Philippe, 27, policewoman killed in the suburb of Montrouge

HyperCacher supermarket:

  • Yohan Cohen, 20, worked at kosher supermarket
  • Philippe Braham, 45, business manager for an IT company
  • Yoav Hattab, 21, student
  • Francois-Michel Saada, 64, former pension fund manager

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