A French reporter managed to reach Cherif Kouachi, one of the two gunmen suspected in France’s worst terrorist attack in generations, by telephone Friday shortly before he and his brother, Said Kouachi, were killed by police in a raid on their hideout northeast of Paris.
In the call, which lasted less than two minutes, Kouachi indicated that he and his brother acted on behalf of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terrorist group's affiliate in Yemen. Journalist Igor Sahiri, who works for BFM-TV, recorded the phone call during his conversation with Kouachi.
Watch the full video below. Kouachi's phone call starts at the 0:43 mark.
Here is a partial translation of the conversation:
Kouachi: [something inaudible] I was sent, me, Cherif Kouachi, by al-Qaeda to Yemen.
Kouachi: And I went there and it was Anwar al-Awlaki who financed me.
Sahiri: Okay, and this was how long ago, about?
Kouachi: It was before he was killed [something inaudible].
Sahiri: Okay, so you came back to France not long ago?
Kouachi: No, it’s been a long time [something inaudible].
Sahiri: Okay, and there, it’s just the two of you — you and your brother?
Kouachi: That is not your problem.
Sahiri: Are there people behind you or not?
Kouachi: That, that is not your problem.
Sahiri: Okay. And are you planning to kill again or not?
Kouachi: Kill who?
Sahiri: I don’t know. It’s a question I'm asking.
Kouachi: Did they kill civilians, the two people you’re looking for?
Sahiri: You killed journalists.
Kouachi: No, but did they kill civilians the people you're looking for?
Sahiri: Cherif, did you kill anyone this morning?
Kouachi: No, we are not murderers. We are the defenders of the Prophet, we don’t kill, we don’t kill women, we don’t kill anyone. We defend the Prophet [something] that we can kill, it’s not a problem. But we don’t kill women. We're not like you, not like you. It was you who killed [a name?] in Syria, not us. We have a code of honor in Islam.
Sahiri: Well, you’ve had your revenge. You killed 12 people.
Kouachi: That’s right, well-said. We've had our revenge. There you go. You said it yourself.
In a video purportedly released by AQAP, which has since been taken down from YouTube, the group praised the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
"O Allah, let the praise be to You, for You have sufficed for Your Prophet against the scoffers. Praise be to You. You have supported Your worshipers the mujahideen. Praise be to Allah," the voice on the audio says.
Read our full coverage of France shooting:
Correction: In an earlier version, we incorrectly said that one of the shooters, Cherif Kouachi, called the journalist. It was the journalist who called Kouachi. The post has been updated.