News and Views
Paris Gunman Given Secret Burial
Saïd Kouachi, one of the two gunmen who attacked the offices of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo earlier this month, was buried last night in an unmarked grave in the city of Reims, where he had lived, The New York Times reports. The burial took place over the protests of the mayor and others.
Earlier this week Arnaud Robinet, the mayor, had said that he would “categorically” refuse Kouachi’s body for fear that his grave would attract jihadists. “I don’t want a grave in Reims to become a place of prayer and contemplation for some fanatics,” he said.
The burial took place on Friday night regardless. “He was buried last night, in the most discreet, anonymous way possible,” Robinet told French TV, according to the BBC. “I am angry,” Robinet told the Times. “But the state ordered me to accept, and I did.”
In a long feature on Saïd and his brother Chérif’s radicalization, the Times reported that Saïd Kouachi had lived in Reims with his wife for the past two years. Kouachi’s wife Soumya has thus far been cleared of wrongdoing; in fact, it seems she had no idea that what her husband was going to do:
“She now knows that there is a part of him that slipped away from her,” said Mr. Flasaquier, the wife’s lawyer. “She doesn’t think that couples tell each other everything. She thinks they all have a little secret garden. But this isn’t a secret garden. It’s a secret planet.”
Chérif Kouachi will be buried, at his wife Izzana Hamyd’s request, in a Muslim plot in Gennevilliers, a suburb of Paris. The Times reports that plans for the body of Amedy Coulibaly, the third gunman, remain unclear.
[Photo credit: Getty Images]