The French newspaper La Voix du Nord (Northern Voice) has investigated and revealed a few surprising facts about Amedy Coulibaly who held the kosher hypermarket hostage and murdered four people on Friday, January 9, 2015.

Amazingly, Coulibaly financed his weapons in a very ordinary way. He took out a consumer loan from the mainstream lender Cofidis (H/T: L’Internaute).

La Voix du Nord published a copy of his loan application. The article explains that he asked for and received €6,000, which he applied for on December 4, 2014. A weapons specialist told the newspaper that the weapons found at Hyper Casher were worth €6,000 on the black market.

Coulibaly agreed a 60-month repayment plan, the first instalment of which was due on Monday, January 5.

When applying for it, he supplied all the necessary documentation: a copy of his French ID card, his latest phone bill, a Crédit Agricole bank statement, documentation showing his annual pay and a payslip from a company in the Paris suburbs.

He told Cofidis that his title was Project Manager, he began working for the company in May 2007* and that his taxable income for 2013 was €33,714. Some will find that rather modest, but in France, that is rather enviable. In November 2014, he earned nearly €3,000. In these terms, he was certainly middle class.

The newspaper attempted to contact Coulibaly’s employer, but the number is out of service.

A spokesperson from Cofidis told La Voix du Nord that they are under no legal obligation to ask borrowers how they will use a loan. The spokesperson said that the amount Coulibaly requested was an average sum and that most of their customers generally use that size of loan for home improvements.

The newspaper ran another article on January 14 explaining why they revealed this information. It is in response to the online comments saying ‘Useless information’ and ‘Who cares?’

Emphases below are in the original:

Amedy Coulibaly’s savagery during the hostage taking at Hyper Casher at the Porte de Vincennes in Paris nearly made us forget that we didn’t have an operation by someone excluded from our society, someone on its margins. No, Amedy Coulibaly was integrated, lived in an apartment among other citizens in our society, earned a not insignificant amount of money — €2,900 per month after tax — and used all the avenues of a consumer society.

No, he was not necessarily financed by foreign groups. This made him more difficult to apprehend.

The second bit of information is that he contracted this in December 2014. Amedy Coulibaly was mounting his operation, of this there can be no doubt. This means that the attack was premeditated.

These data are neither futile nor useless. The more we know about the lifestyle of the three men who sowed terror last week in terms of the way they prepared their operations — enquiries which must continue in the days to come — the more French society will be able to protect itself in future.

So, let’s not assume that these extremists are poor, marginalised and dependent upon foreign terror cells for money.

Excellent work on the part of La Voix du Nord. Security services everywhere should take note instead of asking for more intrusive powers.

* Was Coulibaly being somewhat economical with the truth here? He was in prison between 2010 and March 2014. However, because of his good conduct, he was allowed to take courses and to work.