An audio recording has emerged, purporting to document a conversation between Amedy Coulibaly, the terror suspect who took a number of people hostage at a Paris kosher grocery store this week, and his captives, in which the hostage-taker is heard trying to justify his actions.
The audio was recorded by French radio station RTL, which said that it called the store after hearing that hostages had been taken there. Coulibaly apparently took the call and then tried to hang up, the station says, but the line remained open, according to CNN.
A man believed to be Coulibaly, apparently in conversation with his hostages, is heard to say on the recording: “Me, I was born in France. If they didn't attack other countries, I wouldn't be here.”
He goes on to say, in a seemingly uninterrupted monologue:
“I think of those who wanted Bashar Al-Assad in Syria. They tortured the kids. They killed people...
We didn't intervene for years. Then, they sent bombers, they did a coalition with 5,000 countries [sic]. And then they intervened at the end. But I'm telling you, its almost over. Militants are going to come.
They are going to be more and more. They need to stop, they need to stop attacking ISIS (the Islamic State group). They need to stop asking our women to remove the hijab. They need to stop putting our brothers in jail.
A translation of part of the audio by the U.K.'s Daily Mirror says the Coulibaly told the hostages: “You're the ones who elected your governments, and the governments never hid their intentions to be at war in Mali and elsewhere.”
France launched a military intervention against Islamist rebels in its former African colony of Mali in 2013.
The audio then goes on to detail an apparent exchange between Coulibaly and one of the hostages.
Coulibaly: “You pay taxes, so that means you agree [with French government policy]”
Hostage: “But we have to pay”
Coulibaly: “What? We don't have to. I don't pay my taxes.”
Hostage: “When I pay my taxes it's for highways, schools”
Another hostage later added “We pay our taxes, but we don't harm anybody.”
The man believed to be Coulibaly replied: “Everybody could get together. If they could do it for Charlie Hebdo. Organize protests and let the Muslim people be, and we will let you be. Why are you not doing that?”
Coulibaly, who is believed to have murdered a French policewoman in Paris on Thursday, was killed by police special forces on Friday, after killing four hostages in the grocery story where he had taken hostages.
The focus of authorities' investigation into this week's attacks in France is now on Hayat Boumeddiene, Coulibaly's partner, who sources claim has already left the country, and may be in Syria.
Translation via CNN.