Muslim Worker 'Saved Lives' at Kosher-Store Siege

Lassana Bathily hid them in a freezer before helping police
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2015 4:00 PM CST
Muslim Worker 'Saved Lives' at Kosher-Store Siege
Lassana Bathily, 24.   (YouTube)

French media are praising a Muslim worker who apparently saved several people during the siege of a kosher grocery store in Paris yesterday, the Huffington Post reports. According to RTL and Le Parisien, Lassana Bathily ushered several customers into a freezer when terrorists seized the Hyper Cacher store. "I went down to the freezer, I opened the door, there were several people who went in with me," says the 24-year-old from Mali in west Africa, the Telegraph reports. "I turned off the light and the freezer." He told them to keep calm and went out through a freight elevator. Police apparently took him for a terrorist, keeping him cuffed for about 90 minutes, but he then helped police by describing the layout of the store. In related news:

  • French police have been warned to delete their presence on social media and stay armed at all times, as terror sleeper cells have been awakened, a French police source tells CNN. Ahmedy Coulibaly, an assailant in the kosher-market siege, reportedly made phone calls about attacking French officers.
  • Coulibaly girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene, the target of a police manhunt, fled France Jan. 2 for Turkey and is probably now in Syria, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.
  • The activist hacking group Anonymous says it will take down jihadist websites in retaliation for the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Telegraph reports.
  • A Charlie Hebdo staff cartoonist dismisses the magazine's "new friends," AFP reports via Yahoo News. "We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends," says Bernard Willem Holtrop. "They've never seen Charlie Hebdo."
  • French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said today that France is at war with radical Islam, the New York Times reports. "It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity," he says.
(More Paris stories.)

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