Charlie Hebdo: Mystery Surrounding Death of French Policemen


Officially three police officers were killed  and were honored by president Hollande in a State funeral on January 13. The ceremony was held at the Paris  prefecture de Police. The French president and prime minister Manuel Valls met with members of the families.  A fourth policeman assigned to the Charlie Hebdo investigation “committed suicide.” His death was barely acknowledged, presented as a “fait divers” with no relationship to the Charlie Hebdo police operation.

 The three police officers were posthumously awarded the Légion d’honneur.

French municipal Police officers watch the French president pays tribute to the police officers.

Paris Police officers at Ceremony  Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Lieutenant Franck Brinsolaro, 49, was a protection officer assigned by Paris police to ensure the security of Charlie Hebdo’s  Charb.  With the exception of Brinsolara who was shot on  the premises of Charlie Hebdo, the official and media reports regarding the deaths of the three other policemen are shrouded in contradictions.

Ahmed Merhabet, 40, according to official statements was shot at point blank by one of the gunmen on the street close to Charlie Hebdo’s office.

Police trainee officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe, 26, an unarmed traffic policewoman in Montrouge, in south Paris, was “gunned down by a man wearing body armour and using an automatic assault rifle.”

A fourth policeman Commissaire Helric Fredou  –who had been officially assigned to the Charlie Hebdo investigation– allegedly committed suicide in his office at police headquarters in Limoges on Wednesday evening. He was discovered with a bullet in his head at 1am on Thursday morning. Fredou although involved in the Charlie Hebdo investigation, was not honored by the French government alongside his three colleagues.

Mystery surrounds the death of Ahmed Merhabet and Helric Fredou. The circumstances of the death of Clarissa Jean Philippe remain unclear.

Ahmed Merhabet

According to official reports, Ahmed Merhabet was shot in the head at close range with an automatic weapon in the street of Charlie Hebdo’s office. The official report is refuted by video evidence. The shot fired from an AK47 visibly did not hit his head. If it had, there would have been blood all over the pavement.

An AK-47 bullet fired from close range would … have done something pretty dramatic to that policeman’s head. And if the video is real – and there doesn’t seem much doubt that it is – it clearly shows nothing significant happened to his head either as or after the bullet was fired. (Jonathan Cook, What the Charlie Hebdo Execution video Really Shows, Global Research, January 13, 2014)

Analysis of the video suggests that Merhabet may have been killed, but under different circumstances  and possibly in another location.

While the video footage aired on network TV has since been removed, the French authorities as well as the media have stuck to their fake story: Merhabet was shot to the head in the street close to Charlie Hebdo’s office .

Commissaire Helric Fredou: “The Forgotten Policeman” 

Fredou was part of the official investigation. His passing –while participating in the Charlie Hebdo investigation– has barely been acknowledged. His death in Limoges, South-West France is shrouded in mystery. He allegedly committed suicide within hours of a police debriefing and the preparation of his police report.

His body was found at 1am on Thursday morning with a bullet in his head. He allegedly committed suicide.

Fredou’s  funeral was held privately in Limoges on the same day (Tuesday) as that of the other three policemen.

The official story is that he was depressed and had suffered from a burnout following a meeting with relatives of one of the victims. There are no details as to who these relatives are and where they are living, in the region of Limoges (Haute Vienne) or in Paris (400 km. from Limoges).

What the reports fail to mention is that the Kouachi brothers had spent their high-school years in the Limoges region and that Commissaire Ferou’s police investigation was in all probability related to gathering information within the region on the Kouali brothers including their whereabouts.

”An autopsy was performed at the University Hospital of Limoges, “confirming the suicide” . The French media decided or was instructed not to cover the incident.

Commissaire Ferou committed suicide in his workplace, in his office at the police station.

Did he commit suicide? Was he incited to commit suicide?

Or was he an “honest Cop” executed on orders of  France’s judicial police?

Has his report been released?

These are issues for France’s journalists to address. It’s called investigative reporting. Or is it outright media censorship? (Michel Chossudovsky, Police Commissioner Involved in Charlie Hebdo Investigation “Commits Suicide”. Total News Blackout, Global Research, January 11, 2014)

Author’s note: since the publication of my first article on the death of Commissaire Helric Fredou (January 11, 2015, quoted above) an article published on entitled  French Police Commissioner Suicided After Attempting To Issue Murder Warrant Against President Obama has been circulated on the internet. This article is sheer disinformation. It is  intended to create confusion and discredit independent news and analysis concerning this important issue.  

With regard to Police trainee officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe, the press reports initially stated that she was shot by an unidentified gunman on Thursday. She was later reported to have been shot down, without concrete evidence, by Ahmedi Coulibaly.  Clarissa Jean-Philippe was not in any way connected to the police operation.

Coulibaly was depicted as a Muslim fanatic in a video in which the insignia of the Islamic State is portrayed.

The media reports are full of contradictions focussing on an unknown jogger who was shot at by Coulibaly on Wednesday January 7.

Amedy Coulibaly began his terror rampage a day earlier than previously thought by shooting a jogger and planting a car bomb, … (Daily Mail) .

On Thursday, he was said to have killed traffic policewoman Clarissa Jean Philippe, and on Friday he was allegedly involved in the killing of four hostages Yoav Hattab,  Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham, and Francois-Michel Saada  at a kosher grocery store at Porte de Vincennes. He was, according to media and police reports, shot dead by policemen “after” he had killed the four Jewish hostages.

While Coulibaly was, according to reports, not directly involved in the shooting at Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, he was heralded by the media as the spokesperson of the Islamic State (ISIL), which ironically is covertly supported by US-NATO as well as the French Republic.

According to the Daily Mail:

The killer, who was shot dead by police after murdering four hostages in a Jewish shop on Friday, was thought to have struck first when he killed an unarmed policewoman last Thursday.

But now Paris prosecutors think he was responsible for seriously injuring a jogger in a suburb of the capital on January 7, the same day gunmen killed 12 during the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

A ‘martyrdom video’ of the fanatic, apparently filmed midway through the wave of terror attacks, appeared online yesterday. In it he urges Western Muslims to wage war against ‘enemies of Islam’.

Terrorist Amedy Coulibaly recorded a chilling  'suicide' video, in which he is seen seated in front of a flag used by Islamic State jihadists as well as an automatic rifle propped against the wall

 Terrorist Amedy Coulibaly recorded a chilling ‘suicide’ video, in which he is seen seated in front of a flag used by Islamic State jihadists as well as an automatic rifle propped against the wall
In the slickly edited footage, the 32-year-old pledges allegiance to the Islamic State and its self-proclaimed Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The footage claims Coulibaly planted a bomb under a car on a Paris street, seemingly referring to an explosion on Wednesday night that authorities had not linked to the terror attacks.

Prosecutors said that tests on shell cases from the jogger shooting linked them to the weapon used at the kosher supermarket two days later.

French security forces also released details of a cache of weapons, including automatic rifles and explosives, found at Coulibaly’s last address, an an apartment in Gentilly, on the outskirts of Paris. 


The narrative and video have the appearances of being staged: support of the Islamic State, weapons from the Islamic State, lest we forget the Islamic State is supported and funded by the US, Britain, France and Israel.

It is worth noting that Coulibaly who -according to reports– was shot dead at the kosher grocery store at Vincennes on January 9, had been invited in 2009 to a meeting at the Elysée Palace with former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Coulibaly had a criminal record.  Several years prior to the 2009 meeting with Sarkozy, Coulibaly had been on the radar of French police and intelligence. The stated purpose of his meeting was to discuss employment creation and poverty alleviation.

What was the relationship of this alleged terrorist to a former head of State?  Nobody has bothered in the French media to ask Sarkozy to clarify the nature of his meeting with Coulibaly.

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]