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“Did I collaborate? “: The final questions from the hostages of the Bataclan


Not one thought that he would emerge alive from this cramped corridor of the Bataclan where, on the evening of November 13, the two cornered terrorists improvised a hostage-taking without tail or head. Caroline because she was leaning against the only door allowing the police to enter. “So I thought to myself that when they were going to arrive, I was going to jump at the same time. “ David, plunged into “traumatic lethargy”, began by praying. Not to be saved, no: to have the courage to die with dignity.

Grégory thought about his untidy apartment, and his parents who were going to have to empty it. While watching Ismaël Mostefaï kill with so much pleasure the last wounded in the pit, he did not doubt for a single moment of his fate. All believed to die and yet, until the end, until the assault of the BRI, they remained calm, obeying the absurd and sometimes cruel orders of their jailers armed with Kalashnikovs and encased in bulletproof vests.

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Being ready to die to save, the mystery of good

The “Po-tages” – this is how they nicknamed themselves, these eleven spectators of the Eagles of Death Metal, first “hostages” before later becoming “friends” – testified Tuesday, October 19 before the Assize Court of Paris. They were eleven for nearly two hours in the corridor 10 meters long by 1.5 meters wide on the second floor of the Bataclan; only six of them came to testify at the trial.

David, 29, remembers the first minutes of this hostage-taking. A colorful shirt on a black T-shirt, the ex-bartender turned photographer hangs from a window when Ismaël Mostefaï walks forward with his Kalashnikov. He fled the pit, hoping to become invisible thus hidden a few meters from the ground. He is not alone: ​​a few meters from him, Sébastien is also suspended from a piece of sheet metal fixed to the wall.

“It’s going to be fine, then we’ll go drink beers”David hears himself say to Sébastien.

He still doesn’t understand how the words got out of his mouth. “In my head, I’m very pragmatic, I know I’m going to die, I just don’t know how. ” The two men, David, a Franco-Chilean who came to spend a good evening with friends, and Sébastien, a 30-year-old Arlesian who then dreams of becoming a journalist, are summoned to sit on the balcony of the auditorium. Other hostages arrive.

At the gates of Hell

Mostefaï is very clear:

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“The first to move and not do what I say, I shoot him in the head.” I just killed 100 people, I won’t tell the difference. “

“I also have Mohamed-Aggad in front of me, narrates David. Foot on the balcony railing. He likes to kill people who are downstairs. We are witnessing the massacre and assassination of several people without being able to act. “

All then see a “Confetti rain” in the room. It is Samy Amimour, the third terrorist, who has just activated his belt after the intervention of the commissioner of the BAC. The hostages are transferred to the corridor. The real closed door begins there, between terrorists caught off guard by Amimour’s death, and hostages who manage to keep their cool.

“There is only one who laughs desperately, David says. Mostefaï takes him to the end of the corridor. He said to him: “Face the wall”. A shot goes off. At this point, I hardly feel anything anymore. I’m in a queue at the Gates of Hell. And then inexplicably, he makes him sit down with us again. “

The bullet was fired next to his head.

In the rest of his story, as in that of the other “soups”, everything seems surreal. Mostefaï and Aggad assign each of their hostages to specific tasks.

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At the November 13 trial: “Coming to the stand is also facing history”

An umbrella

Grégory, computer engineer, came with his friend Caroline, also taken hostage, must watch the noises he hears behind the door, to warn them of the advance of help. “When I say that I hear people moaning, they tell me ‘It’s good, you work well’. We also feel that there is movement, that there are things being prepared, that people are taking over the place. “ There, he gets scolded.

Another hostage assigned to watch the corridor will be decked out … with an umbrella. So that we do not see it from the ceiling, explain the terrorists.

Sébastien is at the window, and must ask the police not to launch the assault. “I spent my evening telling the police to back off or the terrorists would blow themselves up. “

Like the others, he expresses his guilt for having collaborated.

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Meanwhile, the terrorists took a hostage’s phone. They try to call the media, but come across answering machines. They then begin discussions with the authorities. But they have nothing to claim, except a letter from François Hollande, who would undertake to withdraw from Syria.

“There was an improvisation on their part on the second part, analyzes David. After Amimour has been killed. They wanted to contact the press. They wanted to stage themselves. But they had nothing to ask. “

” Cover yourself ! “

Gregory: “ Mostefai was calm, and enjoyed the situation. Aggad, I felt he was stressed, able to blow himself up at any time. I see him more as a mercenary. Even they did not know. The only thing that was certain was that they wanted to make this moment last. I remembered Merah and said to myself: “Tomorrow night, we’re still there”. “

The humiliations continue. Mostefaï launches to Caroline, one of the three female hostages: “Hey you, over there, cover yourself!” “

“I had a slightly loose T-shirt, you could see one of my shoulders,” explains Caroline at the helm. I replied: “Oh yes sorry, excuse me”. It’s a sentence I said, which was hard to digest, but seeing the look he gave me then, I think I avoided the worst. “

Feeling of guilt, again.

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The terrorists then ask the “Libyan” – that’s how they nicknamed Sébastien, the Arlésien, because of his long hair – to burn a wad of banknotes.

“I’m starting to burn the tickets, tells Sébastien, but as they burn out, my fingers start to burn, they tell me to go and burn them down at the end of the corridor. I tell myself that I will be the atoning victim of capitalism. As all the banknotes have burned, I take my small wallet, I take out my 15 euros to burn them. One then said to me: “But we didn’t ask you to do that”. “

Again, the hostage wonders why he did so.

A miracle

When the men of the BRI arrive with their now famous shield, Grégory inexplicably tries – and in vain, he weighs 80 kg – to stop him. Mostefaï empties his magazine, 27 shots. Aggad activates his explosives belt. Several hostages will be injured by bullet holes, shields, and encirclement grenades. But all are evacuated unharmed. “Another little miracle”, said one of them.

“When I go out, I see the pile of bodies in the pit,” David concludes. I feel guilt. Why are they dead and not me? Did I not collaborate? There, I fell in love with it. ““The hardest part is to mourn yourself”: the guilt of the survivor among the survivors of the Bataclan

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Questions about the purpose of this hostage-taking haunted David for two years. Today, he no longer asks them, he has forgotten everything, and had to go back to his hearings to come and give his testimony.



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