Man Hiding in Building Sent Texts to Help Paris Cops

Also, hostage-taker at market mistakenly left his phone on
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2015 7:32 AM CST
Man Hiding in Building Sent Texts to Help Paris Cops
In this image taken from a video provided by PFMTV, police officers storm a grocery in Paris Friday to end a hostage situation.   (AP Photo /BFMTV)

Some intriguing details about the role of cell phones in yesterday's dual raids in France that killed three suspected terrorists:

  • Hidden helper: When Cherif and Said Kouachi holed up in a building outside Paris, they were unaware that a man identified as Lilian Lepere, 26, was hiding inside. He was reportedly under a sink but close enough to hear the brothers talk, and he began texting police information about their whereabouts, his whereabouts, and the building itself, reports Sky News. The dialogue lasted three hours, and a police official says it gave authorities crucial help ahead of the raid, reports the Wall Street Journal.

  • Didn't hang up: The hostage-taker at the kosher market in Paris, Amedy Coulibaly, called a TV station at one point but failed to properly hang up the phone after talking. "This allowed police to hear him saying a final prayer before his death, perhaps suggesting that this prompted the police raid," reports AP.
  • Hostage location: Several people at the market hid in a refrigeration unit, including a father and his toddler-age son. When the man's mother realized they were trapped inside the market, she opted not to call in case they were hidden. Instead, she gave the phone number to police, who were able to track the location of the hostages inside the store, reports AFP. The information may have helped them survive when the raid took place.
(More Cherif Kouachi stories.)

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