Paris gunman’s safe house could hold clues to 4th attacker

The Associated Press reports: Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four hostages at a Paris kosher supermarket, rented a small suburban house the week before and filled it with an impressive arsenal of late-model weapons, police said Wednesday.

A published report said a search of the house has enabled police to identity a potential fourth attacker as investigators follow the money and supply systems for the three known killers, all of whom died in police raids. Police told The Associated Press as many as six members of the same radical Islamic terror cell may be at large.

“We have put our finger on some extremely dangerous people, men and women,” French police union spokesman Christophe Crepin said. “We are really in a war.”

Of special interest is the small attached house on a quiet street in the town of Gentilly south of Paris that Coulibaly rented about two weeks ago. French police officials refused to say what has been discovered inside the dwelling, but the newspaper Le Parisien reported detectives from the Paris Criminal Brigade and a special police anti-terrorism unit seized a scooter there that allowed them to identity “a fourth man” who acted as Coulibaly’s accomplice.

The newspaper did not identify the man by name, but said he may have shot and seriously wounded a jogger in nearby Fontenay-aux-Roses on Jan. 7, the same day two friends of Coulibaly, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

“The fourth man,” who has a lengthy criminal record, may have been involved in that attack, the newspaper reported, adding that he may have already escaped to Syria.

When an AP reporter visited the Gentilly house this week, neighbors said they had noticed nothing out of the ordinary, with one saying the muscular, 5-foot-5 (165 cm) Coulibaly had been a regular at the local weight room.

Officials said the attackers accumulated a veritable arsenal that included three late-model Kalashnikov assault rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a machine pistol, smoke grenades and bombs, fragmentation grenades, handguns and industrial explosives.

In addition to the weapons, investigators are painstakingly following the money trail. Former drug-dealing associates of Coulibaly told AP he was selling marijuana and hashish in the Paris suburbs as recently as a month ago. Multiple French news accounts have said the Kouachi brothers sold knockoff sporting goods made in China. [Continue reading…]

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