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Belgium point of support for the Kouachi-Coulibaly network? (Shift2)

The Belgian police are on their toes. Here, a "suspicious" vehicle registered in France was stopped by Belgian plainclothes police for identity checks on Tuesday (© NGV / B2)
The Belgian police are on edge. Here, a “suspicious” vehicle registered in France was stopped by Belgian plainclothes police officers for an identity check on Tuesday while it was driving in the European district towards Ixelles (© NGV / B2)

(BRUXELLES2) The Kouachi and Coulibaly brothers would have supplied themselves with weapons in Belgium. Information sketched by online media Médiapart was supplemented on Tuesday and Wednesday (13 and 14 January) by the Belgian daily Last hour. According to our Belgian colleagues, “ the Scorpio (*) type submachine gun that Amedy Coulibaly had during the hostage-taking at the Porte de Vincennes comes from Brussels”. This weapon was used by Coulibaly during the attack on the Vincences superstore, according to the Paris prosecutor, in particular when he attempted to attack the police. Other information : " the Kalashnikov and the rocket launcher used by the Kouachi brothers were bought by Coulibaly around the Gare du Midi, in Brussels, for less than €5.000 ».

Arrest in Charleroi

A resident of Charleroi (a Carolo) was also arrested on Tuesday (January 13) by the Charleroi police. The man, already known to Justice for various petty dealings presented himself (by himself) to the federal police of Charleroi ". " Visibly frightened – according to our colleagues at DH -, the person concerned declared having had contact with Amedy Coulibaly who wanted to obtain a car. Not knowing the intentions of the terrorist, the Carolo trafficker allegedly undertook to roll him in flour by defrauding him during the transaction. After a search of the person's home, the police " found papers proving a bargain relating to the vehicle. But they also got their hands on other documents” (which) reported negotiations between Coulibaly and the suspect Carolo about weapons and ammunition. Among these would be a Tokarev 7.62 like the one used in Paris.

Belgium, supply point

Apparently, Belgium was a common location for the Coulibaly-Kouachi gang. Mediapart investigators revealed this on Sunday. To prepare the escape from Clairvaux prison of two convicts, notably Smaïn Aït Ali Belkacem (one of the main people responsible for the wave of attacks committed in France in 1995 attributed to the GIA), " the network spared no effort to buy weapons in Belgium ". A handwritten note was found in a member of the cell, addressed to an accomplice. He reported: “We need two Kalash, two calibers, ten grenades. Try to do it as soon as possible because we need it. It's up to you to talk to the brother who sells the weapons. My brother knows nothing, so negotiate a low price”. 

Terrorists coming to do their shopping in Belgium is nothing new. In the 1990s, the Belgian police in particular had uncovered logistical cells of the GIA – the armed Islamist group to which Coulibaly is indirectly linked -, responsible for welcoming GIA militants and purchasing equipment and weapons. Around ten activists responsible for arms trafficking, including Ahmed Zaoui, were arrested in March 1995, reported then the evening. In 1998, it was Farid Melouk, involved in the RER attacks, who was arrested transporting explosives.

(NGV)

(*) Rather Skorpion, submachine gun of Czech origin, made famous by the Red Brigades and widely used in the conflicts in former Yugoslavia (a licensed version was manufactured by the Yugoslav and then Serbian Zastava factory). It was thus used by the Roubaix gang, a criminal gang in the north of France, some members of which had been trained by the Afghan Taliban and linked to Al Qaeda, during its actions in early 1996. But according to our readers, more specific in weapons, this submachine gun is not a Skorpion.

(Updated – 15.1 with new elements – the arrest of a man in Charleroi – and details on the weaponry)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

One thought on “Belgium point of support for the Kouachi-Coulibaly network? (Shift2)"

  • Bruno BUCHERIE

    The weapon seen in the photo alongside Coulibaly is of Czech origin but it is not a Skorpion. It is a “Sa Vz 58 Sporter COMPACT”, produced by the company “Czech Small Arms”. This 5.56 caliber weapon is developed on the basis of the Czech version of the Russian AK 47, called Vz 58 (vzor 58, ie “1958 model”). You can convince yourself of this by going to the producer's website and in particular its pages in French http://www.csa.co.cz/fr/15-produkty/24-sa58-223.html

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