Coulibaly was driving with his partner Hayat Boumeddiene when they were stopped for driving without a license on December 30. The police officers ran Coulibaly’s name through a database of the most wanted persons, which identified him as "dangerous and belonging to Islamist movements," according to the newspaper.
The officers then notified the anti-terrorism unit of the French police but received no response. They let Coulibaly and Boumeddiene go.
Coulibaly claimed allegiance to the Islamic State in a video that surfaced in mid-January. He also claimed that he synchronized his attacks with Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out the assault on Charlie Hebdo.
All the assailants were killed during police operations on January 9. Coulibaly’s partner remains at large and is believed to be in Syria.