The wife of the Paris supermarket gunman may be in Syria, police sources have said.
Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, is partner of Amedy Coulibaly, who killed a policewoman and then four hostages at a kosher bakery.
A police source said she flew to Turkey via Madrid on January 2, despite alleged sightings of her in Paris on Thursday.
in Istanbul then reported seeing a woman matching her description cross
the Turkey- Syria border on Thursday, the day her husband killed
policewoman Clarissa Jean-Phillipe.
Sources say she had a return ticket from Istanbul to Madrid for yesterday but failed to show for the flight.
were today interrogating the wives of the Kouachi brothers responsible
for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in a bid to track down Boumeddiene.
of phone calls between Boumeddiene and Izzana Hamyd, wife of Cherif
Kouachi, have shown up on mobile records. Five hundred in all were made
Radicalised: Hayat Boumeddiene (left) pictured with her husband
Amedy Coulibaly (right) who is one of the three terrorists who brought
France to a halt in 48 hours of bloodshed
‘Armed and dangerous’: It is becoming clear that the one-time cashier was radicalised after meeting the man she would marry
The wife or girlfriend of the older Kouachi brother, Said, is also being held.
Algerian Boumeddiene is now not thought to have been with Coulibaly at
any time in the Kosher Supermarket and to have fled immediately after
Wearing a skimpy bikini with her arms wrapped around
her lover’s waist, this is Boumeddiene before she turned into a jihadi
killer’s accomplice and became France’s most wanted woman.
of the ‘wife’ of the Kosher supermarket hostage killer reveal how she
was radicalised by the man she would go on to marry.
Her husband Amedy Coulibaly is dead, one of the three terrorists who brought France to a halt in 48 hours of bloodshed.
Now, 26-year-old Boumeddiene is on the run and is believed to be ‘armed and dangerous’.
Coulibaly died in a hail of bullets along with four hostages in the storming of the Jewish supermarket.
couple ‘married’ in a religious ceremony after Boumedienne, who was
never seen without her veil, waited four years for him to come out of
jail following his conviction for armed robbery.
The couple were never married in a civil ceremony – the only form of marriage legally accepted in France.
Jihadi couple: Boumeddiene (right) walked away from a low-paid
job as a cashier in 2009 and started wearing a veil. She ‘devoted
herself’ to Coulibaly (left)
‘Cool and composed’: Boumeddiene never wavered under police cross
examination. When told they knew she and Coulibaly had visited Beghal
at the same time as Cherif Kouachi and two other convicted terrorists,
she replied: ‘We went there for crossbow practice’
Cornered: French police named the hostage taker as Amedy Coulibaly
(left), 32, but Boumeddiene (right), 26, is not thought to have been at
his side at the time
Stunned: A 27-year-old Coulibaly (pictured) once ‘gushed’ with
excitement when he was hand-picked to meet former French president,
While Coulibaly had a well documented track record, details of Boumeddiene’s troubled childhood are only now emerging.
Like her husband she was born into a large family, seven children, in 1988 but when she was just six years old, her mother died.
eldest children left home, according to reports in Le Parisien, and
social workers took over. It is suggested that Boumeddiene may have been
put into care.
Estranged from her father, she met him briefly once more and introduced him to Coulibaly.
But all may not have been as settled as the young woman, radicalised by her husband, thought.
It is understood he had made it clear he wanted to take a second wife, according to other reports.
questioned by police at his home in Nanterre, a Paris suburb,
Boumeddiene’s father is said to be shocked and unable to believe that
his daughter was involved with the terrorist cell.
But it is becoming clear that the one-time cashier was radicalised after meeting the man she would marry.
is from an Algerian background and altered her surname to ‘make it
sound more French’, according to an investigating source.
told police who interviewed her as part of their inquiries into
Coulibaly’s murky dealings with Islamic extremists that she had walked
away from a low-paid job as a cashier in the Juvisy suburb of Paris in
2009 and taken the veil. She ‘devoted herself’ to Coulibaly.
by police in 2010, Boumeddiene said she was inspired by her husband and
the radicals she lived with to ‘read a lot of books on religion and
because of this, I came to ask questions on religion’.
saw the massacre of the innocents in Palestine, in Iraq, in Chetchna, in
Afghanistan or anywhere the Americans sent their bombers, all that…
well, who are the terrorists?’
She added that when Americans killed innocents, it was the right of men to defend their women and children.
Always cool and composed, Boumeddiene never wavered under police cross examination.
Going in: Special forces storm the Jewish grocery to the east of
Paris where terrorist Amedey Coulibaly had taken at least seven people
Chilling: The body of a man can be seen at the entrance of the Jewish supermarket after it was stormed by commandos
Terrified: Hostages – who had been held for hours with Coulibaly
threatening to kill them – flee from the shop, crying with relief
Wanted: Police issued this picture describing the couple as
suspects in the shooting dead of a female police officer at Montrouge
told that they knew she and Coulibaly had visited Beghal at the same
time as Cherif Kouachi and two other convicted terrorists, jihadi
recruiter Ahmed Laidouni, and Farid Melouk of GIA, she replied: ‘We went
there for crossbow practice.’
The couple lived in nearby Bagneux,
where they were known as a devoutly religious couple, despite
Coulibaly’s regular run-ins with the law.
To neighbours the pair were quiet, respectful and normal and had even gone on a holiday to Malaysia together.
But a month ago they simply disappeared from their suburban house until flashed across the world’s screens today.
Coulibaly murdered at least four hostages at the Kosher supermarket in Paris, according to Reuters news agency.
He is believed to be part of an Al Qaeda terror cell linked to a British-based jihadi extremist, Djamel Beghal.
50-year-old preacher, who recruited terrorists while worshipping at
London’s Finsbury Park mosque, met Cherif Kouachi while in prison in
Armed: Dozens of police officers took refuge outside the Kosher bakery in Vincennes, where Ademy Coulibaly was holding hostages
Siege: French police, with weapons in hand, head to yet another terror attack in Paris
Ultimatum: The hostage taker threatened to kill the remaining captives if the Charlie Hebdo attackers were raided
Coulibaly has a long history of both petty and serious crimes.
The only boy born in a family of ten in Juvisy, Essonne, he first came
to police attention as a 17-year-old delinquent.
theft and drug offences followed. In September 2002 in Orleans, Loiret,
he was arrested for the armed robbery of a bank.
It’s believed he
became involved with the younger of the Kouachi brothers, Cherif, when
he was part of a jihadist recruitment ring in Paris that sent fighters
to join the conflict in Iraq. Kouachi was subsequently sentenced to
three years in prison.
The two sieges by suspected Islamic
terrorists played out at the same time, as fears grew that they would be
looking to cause another bloodbath.
Coulibaly is believed to be the one responsible for shooting a policewoman dead in south Paris on Thursday.
Suspects: The three men were named as Cherif Kouachi (left), 32, his
brother Said Kouachi (right), 34, and Hamyd Mourad, 18, of Gennevilliers
Surveillance: A French army helicopter flies over the industrial area where Charlie Hebdo massacre suspects were hiding
Cornered: French special forces are pictured in Corcy, near
Villers-Cotterets, where the Kouachi brothers were believed to be hiding
On the run: French police surrounded an area north-east of Paris
where the armed men, who killed 12 people in Paris on Wednesday, were
believed to be hiding
The revelation led police to link it to the
murder of 12 people around the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical
magazine on Wednesday.
‘He was in the same Buttes Chaumount cell as the Kouachi brothers,’ said a source close to the investigation.
‘He was friends of both of them.’
Said Kouachi, 34, and his brother, Cherif Kouachi, 32 – who have been
killed in a building north of Paris – were first arrested in 2005
were suspected members of the Buttes Chaumont – a group operating out
of the 19th arrondissement of Paris and sending terrorist fighters to
Cherif was convicted in 2008 to three years in prison, with
18 months suspended, for his association with the underground
He had wanted to fly to Iraq via Syria, and was
found with a manual for a Kalashnikov – the automatic weapon used in
Said was freed after questioning by police,
but – like his brother – was known to have been radicalised after the
Iraq War of 2003, when Anglo-American forces deposed Saddam Hussein.
Both brothers were said to be infuriated by the killing of Muslims by western soldiers and war planes.
Taking position: Special forces snipers fix their gaze on the position of the Kouachi brothers
Hostile force: Police take their positions around the Kouachi brothers’ location in Dammartin-en-Goele
Calm before the storm: Police rendezvous near the Kouachi brothers’ location before launching their attack
Olliviers, Cherif’s lawyer at the time, described him as initially
being an ‘apprentice loser – a delivery boy in a cap who smoked hashish
and delivered pizzas to buy his drugs.
But Mr Ollivier said the
‘clueless kid who did not know what to do with his life met people who
gave him the feeling of being important’.
Belkacem was a leading
members of the GIA, or Armed Islamic Army – an Algerian terror outfit
responsible for numerous atrocities.
The Kouachi brothers, who are orphans, were radicalised by an Iman operating in northern Paris.
were raised in foster care in Rennes, in western France, with Cherif
training as a fitness instructor before moving to Paris.
lived in the 19th arrondissement and were radicalised by Farid
Benyettou, a janitor-turned-preacher who gave sermons calling for jihad
in Iraq and suicide bombings.
The Kouachis share similar
backgrounds to Mohammed Merah, the 23-year-old French Algerian
responsible for murdering seven people, including four Jews and three
Muslim soldiers, in the Toulouse area in 2012.
Merah, who was
himself shot dead by police, had also been left to operate as a
terrorist in France, despite the authorities knowing he had trained with
Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
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