Lassana filmed by BFM TV, a French news channel, the day of the attack.
It turns out that this so-called 'accomplice' is none other than Lassana Bathily, the shop's Malian employee whose story made headlines in the aftermath of the hostage-taking. And he's certainly no accomplice. Bathily had the quick reflex to hide several hostages in the shop's cold-storage room as soon as the hostage-taking drama began playing out. He suggested to his fellow hostages that they leave the store with him, but they refused. So he decided to leave by the store's emergency exit with his hands held in the air. The clothes he's wearing on the video match photos taken of him in the aftermath of the ordeal.
No, Coulibaly was not shot while handcuffed
Screen shot of the video below.
These images were broadcast by France 3 – a major French television channel – during peak viewing time. Despite that, they're presented by paranoid internet users as being the 'non-censured' footage of the police raid on the supermarket. It shows the moment when Amedy Coulibaly runs out of the shop to confront the dozens of armed officers lined against him.
France 3 video uploaded online by the site Infolibre TV.
A few seconds after the raid is launched, the video shows Coulibaly heading towards the door behind which heavily armed officers have lined up. Perhaps reacting to a sound grenade, he appears to crash into the door and fall to the ground. A few seconds later, Coulibaly is dead. But what's intriguing is the position his hands are in the moment he falls. Internet users claim he appears handcuffed.
But it's little more than coincidence that his arms find themselves in this position. Spliced
, these pictures show that he spreads his arms apart as he tumbles to the ground. Furthermore, several American media outlets have published screen shots of surveillance camera footage
from inside the store, in which Coulibaly can be seen holding a gun in his right hand. He is not handcuffed.
'Revealing' dates and obvious photomontages
Some internet users have also taken it upon themselves to manipulate older photos. This photo supposedly shows Place de la Republique during Sunday's solidarity march. It gives the impression that the statue has been covered with Palestinian flags. Unsurprisingly, the photo was actually taken during a protest in support of Gaza during July 2014.
Others don't even bother to analyse the images to come up with their conspiracy theories. For them, the dates of the attacks speak for themselves and could even reveal the culprit's name. A ridiculous conclusion which was nevertheless retweeted 3,500 times.
This tweet reads: "9/11 = 911 = American police's phone number ... 1/7 = 17 = French police's phone number. That's weird"
Whereas some internet users naively repost these arguments, others have resorted to conspiracy theories like this for years in an attempt to support the well-worn theory that pins the blame on the United States and Israel. Supposedly, the goal of these two allies is to dirty Islam's image.
Seventeen people were killed in last week's events which were without precedent on French soil. The attacks led by the Kouachi brothers against 'Charlie Hebdo' was claimed by Al Qaeda in Yemen and had been well-prepared in advance. Coulibaly claims to have carried out his own – more haphazard – attacks in the name of the Islamic State group. Hayat Boumedienne, believed to have acted as Coulibaly's accomplice, is on the run and thought to have fled to Syria.
Post written with France 24 journalist Ségolène Malterre (@segoF24).