The Volokh Conspiracy

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Four hostages killed at Paris kosher supermarket


This may be old news to some of you, but I just saw the news about the deaths (The Washington Post, Griff Witte & Michael Birnbaum)—I had heard earlier this morning about the standoff:

French police on Friday stormed a kosher grocery store here, killing a gunman who seized hostages and threatened to murder them if security forces outside the French capital assaulted the hideout of the country's most-wanted terrorist suspects.

Nearly simultaneously, police launched an assault on the hideout outside Paris of the two brothers accused of carrying out a massacre Wednesday at the offices of the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The hostage-taker at the kosher store and the two brothers were killed in the assaults.

French President Francois Hollande told the nation in a televised address that four hostages also were killed at the kosher store….

Fifteen hostages were reported freed in the police assault on the store, and another one was rescued in the attack on the hideout of the two brothers.

President Hollande "denounced the attacker and the two brothers as 'fanatics who have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.' " Of course the fanatics have lots to do with one branch of the Muslim religion, though I do not fault Muslims of other branches for the murderers' actions.

Amedy Coulibaly, one of the hostage-takers, also killed a policewoman at a traffic stop yesterday. The article notes that, "Like the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo attack, Amedy Coulibaly appears to have been well-known to French authorities for years." "Starting in 2001, Coulibaly was repeatedly held for crimes ranging from theft to drug trafficking, according to French media reports. In 2013, he was convicted of involvement in an attempt to help another militant Islamist, Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, escape from prison, Paris newspapers reported. Coulibaly was later released."