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Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket Hostage Crisis (2015)
Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket Hostage Crisis (2015)
January 9, 2015
Total victims:
Photo Gabrielle Chatelain—AFP/Getty Images

Hypercacher Kosher Supermarket Hostage Crisis (2015)

4 Jews were killed in an antisemitic attack in Paris, France on 1/9/2015

The Hypercacher hostage crisis in Paris, part of a series of Islamist terrorist attacks, brought to light the vulnerability of Jewish sites in France.

The Hypercacher kosher supermarket hostage crisis on January 9, 2015, was a harrowing act of antisemitic terrorism that shook Paris and the world, highlighting the persistent threat of extremism against Jewish communities. This attack was part of a series of Islamist terrorist incidents that struck the French capital over three days, beginning with the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office on January 7, which left 12 people dead. The Hypercacher incident not only underscored the vulnerability of Jewish sites in France but also raised profound concerns about religious and ethnic intolerance, security, and the challenges of counterterrorism in a multicultural society.


On the afternoon of January 9, Amedy Coulibaly, armed with automatic weapons, stormed the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, Paris, taking shoppers and employees hostage. The attack was deliberately timed to coincide with the Jewish Sabbath preparations, targeting the supermarket because it was a Jewish establishment, and thus, in Coulibaly's view, a symbol of the religion he professed to oppose. Coulibaly, who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), sought to defend the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and demanded freedom for the Kouachi brothers, the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, who at that time were engaged in a standoff with police in Dammartin-en-Goële.

Details of the Attack:

The siege lasted for several hours, with live television broadcasts adding to the tension and fear. Coulibaly killed four hostages early in the ordeal, before police stormed the supermarket, killing him and freeing 15 survivors. The rapid response of the French police and special forces was crucial in preventing further loss of life, but the incident left the nation and its Jewish community in particular, in shock and mourning.

Victims of the Attack:

The four victims, all Jewish men, were Yohan Cohen (22), Yoav Hattab (21), Philippe Braham (45), and François-Michel Saada (64). Their deaths were mourned by a nation already reeling from the Charlie Hebdo attack and sparked an outpouring of solidarity from across France and around the world. Each victim left behind families and communities devastated by their loss, their lives cut tragically short by an act of hate:

- Yohan Cohen was a young employee at Hypercacher, known for his kindness and helpful nature.

- Yoav Hattab, a student with a bright future ahead, was praised for his bravery during the attack, as he attempted to disarm Coulibaly and help others.

- Philippe Braham was a sales manager and father, remembered for his devotion to his faith and community.

- François-Michel Saada was a retired senior executive, beloved by his family as a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather.

In the aftermath, the Hypercacher attack became a focal point for discussions on antisemitism, terrorism, and the need for unity against extremism. The incident prompted increased security measures for Jewish institutions in France and sparked a national debate on the protection of vulnerable communities. Commemorative events and memorials were held to honor the victims, and initiatives to combat hate speech and radicalization were intensified. The attack remains a stark reminder of the cost of hatred and the importance of vigilance, tolerance, and solidarity in the face of threats to freedom and diversity.

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