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Paris Killer Cherif Kouachi Gave Interview to TV Channel Before He Died

French television network BFMTV called the factory, and Cherif Kouachi picked up. Kouachi and his brother were later killed in a raid.

Holed up inside a printing factory outside Paris, Cherif Kouachi spoke by phone to a French television network during a seven-hour standoff on Friday with French security forces.

Kouachi and his brother, Said, were later killed in a raid. One hostage inside the plant was freed.

Here is a partial transcript of the interview between Kouachi and Igor Sahiri, a journalist for France’s BFMTV, as translated by NBC News:

Kouachi: We're telling you that we are the prophet's defenders peace and blessings be upon him, and that I, Cherif Kouachi, was sent by Yemen's Al-Qaeda. OK?

Interviewer: OK, OK.

Kouachi: I went there and it was Anwar Al-Awlaki who financed me.

Interviewer: And how long ago was this?

Kouachi: It was before he was killed.

Interviewer: ok, so you came back to France not long ago ?

Kouachi: No, a long time ago...I know the secret service, don't worry about it. I know very well how I was able to do things well.

Interviewer: Ok, and now there's only you and your brother?

Kouachi: That's not your problem.

Interviewer: But do you have people behind you, or not?

Kouachi: That's not your problem.

Interviewer: Ok, but do you plan to kill again in the name of Allah or not?

Kouachi: Kill who?

Interviewer: I don’t know, I’m asking you the question.

Kouachi: Did we kill civilians during the two days you've been looking for us?

Interviewer: You killed journalists.

Kouachi: But did we kill civilians? Civilians or people during the two days that you looked for us? Or people during the two days you've been looking for us?

Interviewer: Wait, wait Cherif, Cherif, did you kill this morning?

Kouachi: We are not killers. We are defenders of the prophet, we don't kill women. We kill no one. We defend the prophet. If someone offends the prophet then there is no problem, we can kill him. We don't kill women. We are not like you. You are the ones killing women and children in Syria ,Iraq and Afghanistan. This isn't us. We have an honor code in Islam.

Interviewer: But you just sought revenge here, you killed 12 people.

Kouachi: Yes, because we sought revenge. You just said it well. You said it yourself, we sought revenge.

A purported member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed Friday the group directed the attack on the magazine offices on Twitter. Flashpoint Intelligence, a global security firm and an NBC News counterterrorism consultant, could not verify the authenticity of the claim.

If true, "this is a game changer when looking at previous al Qaeda plots," said Laith Alkhouri of Flashpoint. "They always sought to cause a spectacle; a big blast with sophisticated undetectable bombs. This would be a new trend, and a dangerous one. If this is indeed true, AQAP is now looking at softer targets and is living up to previously issued threats."


— Emmanuelle Saliba