Expatica news

Paris gunman bought weapons in Belgium: reports

French Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibaly bought most of the weapons used in last week’s Paris attacks in Belgium, Belgian newspapers reported Wednesday.

The Kalashnikov rifle and rocket launchers used by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi in the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack were bought by Coulibaly near the Gare du Midi railway station for less than 5,000 euros ($7,000), Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported.

The Scorpio assault rifle that Coulibaly used during a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket in Paris also came from Brussels, the newspaper said, quoting “very well placed sources.”

Belgian prosecutors declined to comment immediately when contacted by AFP.

Separately, a known trafficker from Charleroi, south of Brussels, handed himself in to police on Tuesday saying he had been in contact with Coulibaly in recent months, the Belga news agency reported.

He said Coulibaly, who like the Kouachi brothers was shot dead by police, had wanted to buy a vehicle. The trafficker said he had conned Coulibaly at the time but went to police after the attacks because he was scared, Belga said.

During a search of his house police found documents indicating Coulibaly wanted to buy weapons and ammunition, including a Tokarev pistol of the sort used by the Frenchman during the supermarket attack, it said.

The trafficker was now in custody, Belga reported.

The Flemish daily De Standaard said the claims Coulibaly bought the weapons in Belgium were “nothing more than a theory” at this stage.

But it pointed to a report in the French website Mediapart that Couilbaly, one of the Kouachi brothers and a third Islamist had tried to buy weapons in Belgium in 2010 during a bid to spring leading jihadist Smain Ait Ali Belkacem from jail.