Suspected female accomplice in Paris attacks thought to be in Syria

French authorities launched massive manhunt for 27-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene, who remains on the run after kosher market siege.

January 10, 2015 22:47
2 minute read.
Hayat Boumeddiene

Hayat Boumeddiene. (photo credit: screenshot)


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The suspected female accomplice of Islamists behind attacks in Paris is thought to be in Syria after passing through Istanbul on January 2, a senior Turkish security official said on Saturday.

"There was no warning about her from the French security services or government. After they informed us about her. We identified her mobile phone signal on January 8. We think she is in Syria at the moment," the source said.

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Amedy Coulibaly, the hostage taker who killed four people and wounded four others in a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday was killed by police during its raid on the market, but his suspected accomplice Hayat Boumeddiene, remains on the run.

Police had already been hunting 32-year-old Coulibaly along with the 27-year-old female accomplice Boumeddiene after the killing on Thursday in southern Paris of a policewoman.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday that preliminary investigation showed that there were frequent communications between Coulibaly and Boumeddiene and the terrorists Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said who carried out the attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper on Wednesday. Police killed the Kouachi brothers during a raid on a print shop northeast of Paris on Friday.

"It appears from the investigation, especially from the exploitation of the phone-tappings, that Cherif Kouachi's spouse had called more than 500 times to Amedy Coulibaly's partner, Hayat Boumeddiene, which shows permanent and strong links between the two couples," Molins said.

Boumeddiene is thought to be armed and dangerous. She was married to Coulibaly in a religious ceremony, but they have not had the civil wedding required to make it official in France, AFP reported.

Boumeddiene may have slipped away from the Kosher market following police raid 

Boumeddiene may have escaped the scene of the besieged kosher market during the police raid to rescue the hostages, CNN reported on Saturday.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Boumeddiene may have eluded capture during the confusion as the freed hostages were running away when the police stormed the market, CNN quoted him as saying.  

On Saturday evening, a source familiar with the situation said Boumeddiene left France last week and traveled to Syria via Turkey.

Two police officers were also wounded in the raid, Molins said.

President Francois Hollande warned that the danger to France - home to the European Union's biggest communities of both Muslims and Jews - was not over yet.

Altogether 17 victims have died along with the three hostage-takers since Wednesday.   

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