Source: Paris kosher market attacker was in US terror database – CNN
(CNN)[Breaking news update 10:40 a.m.]
Amedy Coulibaly, who authorities say carried out the terrorist attack at a kosher market in Paris last week, has been in a U.S. terrorist database “for a while,” a senior U.S. law enforcement official says. The database is officially called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, known as TIDE.
[Previous story published at 10 a.m.]
At least 10,000 soldiers and 8,000 police officers will be deployed across the country, French media reported.
“We must remain vigilant because the threat is still very much present,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told CNN affiliate BFMTV.
French law enforcement officers have been told to erase their social media presence and carry weapons at all times because terror sleeper cells have been activated in the country, a police source told CNN.
Some 3.7 million people marched in anti-terrorism rallies Sunday across France, including 1.5 million in Paris.
About 40 world leaders joined in the march in the French capital.
Police said no incidents had been reported despite the record number of people involved in the rally in Paris.
‘France without Jews of France is not France,’ French PM says
About 4,700 officers will be tasked with securing 717 Jewish schools, Valls said.
Four of the victims were killed Friday at a kosher market, the latest in a string of anti-Semitic attacks that have led many Jewish families to leave the country.
“I will go to Israel. It is better for us. It is safer,” high school student Gary Uzan, 17, told CNN on Monday.
“France without Jews of France is not France,” Valls said in an interview on BFMTV.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and visited the kosher market. The attack there took place the day after a police officer was killed, and two days after the massacre at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo left 12 people dead.
Authorities have said both attackers behind the Charlie Hebdo rampage — brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi — are dead, as is Amedy Coulibaly, hostage-taker from the kosher market.
He may also be linked to a fourth attack. Ballistics suggest a connection between the market killings and the shooting of a jogger last week, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said. But investigators have not confirmed with certainty who shot the jogger, who is reported to be in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
A woman whom authorities have said may have been a co-conspirator in the market attack is apparently on the run.
Female suspect may not have been in country
Alliance Police Union spokesman Pascal Disant said Hayat Boumeddiene escaped as hostages ran from the kosher store.
But Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reports that she was not in France at the time. Boumeddiene arrived from Madrid in Turkey on January 2 — five days before the first attack in Paris. The news agency said she stayed at an Istanbul hotel and then traveled to Syria on Thursday, the same day the policewoman was killed in France and one day before the siege at the kosher store — attacks that police have blamed on her boyfriend.
The last place authorities spotted Boumeddiene was somewhere near Turkey’s border with Syria.
Perhaps the clues that could lead to her whereabouts lie in an apartment outside Paris.
There investigators discovered ISIS flags, automatic weapons and detonators at an apartment rented out by Coulibaly, her partner and suspected co-conspirator, France’s RTL Radio reported, citing authorities.
Targeting police officers?
A video circulating on jihadist websites shows Coulibaly pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In the video, Coulibaly identifies himself as “Abou Bassir AbdAllah al-Irfiqi” and a “soldier of the Caliphate,” while warning the West, “You attack the Caliph, you attack ISIS, we attack you. You can’t attack and not get back anything in return.” It’s unclear when all the video was shot.
According to a source, Coulibaly made several phone calls about targeting police officers in France.
Meanwhile, the United States believes Charlie Hebdo assailant Said Kouachi may have met the late American terrorist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki at some point in Yemen and received orders from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to carry out an attack, a U.S. official told CNN.
But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told CNN there was no “credible information” on who sponsored the violence.
ISIS and al Qaeda are rival terrorist groups.
U.S. on alert after ISIS message
The threats go well beyond France.
The New York City Police Department and other U.S. law enforcement agencies responded to a threat from ISIS after someone released again a September message that tells followers to “rise up and kill intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers, and civilians” — specifically naming the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets.
According to a New York police memo obtained by CNN, department employees were told to “remain alert and consider tactics at all times while on patrol,” especially in light of the attacks in France last week. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a similar bulletin to law enforcement across the United States.
Arson attack at German newspaper
Meanwhile, a firebomb was hurled at a German newspaper that reprinted the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. No one was in the Hamburger Morgenpost building at the time of the attack early Sunday.
The device was thrown into the archive section of the building, setting it on fire. It’s unclear whether the arson attack was connected to the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
The German paper reprinted Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed after the attack on the satirical magazine’s offices in Paris.
Red flags on brothers
Long before they stormed into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine last week and killed 12 people, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi were being watched by French authorities.
Despite the red flags, authorities lost interest in them, L’Express magazine reported.
Tipped off by U.S. intelligence agencies that Said Kouachi may have traveled to Yemen, France placed him under surveillance in November 2011 but terminated the scrutiny last year when it deemed him no longer dangerous, according to L’Express national security reporter Eric Pelletier, who said he talked to multiple French officials.
The surveillance of Cherif Kouachi terminated at the end of 2013 when his phone calls suggested he had disengaged from violent extremism and was focused on counterfeiting clothing and shoes.
Anonymous claims it blocked jihadist website
The Anonymous hacking collective has vowed to retaliate for the Charlie Hebdo attack.
“We intend to take revenge in their name, we are going to survey your activities on the Net, we are going to shut down your accounts on all social networks,” a video from the group said Friday.
In online forums Sunday, Anonymous claimed to have blocked at least one jihadist website.