Female French terror suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene seen in Turkey | News | DW | 10.01.2015
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Female French terror suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene seen in Turkey

The common law wife of one of the gunmen behind the Paris terror attacks has traveled through Turkey and disappeared near the Syrian border. Hayat Boumeddiene flew to Istanbul on the second of January.

Hayat Boumeddiene, the partner of hostage-taker Amedy Coulibaly, flew to Istanbul on January 2, said a Turkish intelligence official. He claimed that she had stayed there for two nights before traveling to Sanliurfa near the border with Syria, where she subsequently "disappeared." Officials believe she may have crossed into Syria.

The 26-year-old French woman of North African origin was initially suspected along with Coulibaly in the murder of a policewoman on Thursday in suburban Paris. Coulibaly was shot dead by police on Friday after a siege at a Jewish supermarket in Paris, in which four hostages were killed.

Following the attacks, French police described Boumeddiene as "armed and dangerous." However, she may not have been in France when the crimes were committed.

French authorities think Boumeddiene may have vital information about an Islamic extremist cell and the links between the different attackers. She was in close contact with the girlfriend of Cherif Kouachi, the man who was one of the lead suspects in the terror attack at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

"We can call this complicity by furnishing of means," Christophe Crepin, spokesman for the UNSA police union, told the Associated Press. "We must interrogate her so she explains exactly if she did this under influence, if she did it by ideology, if she did it to aid and abet."

Boumeddiene married Coulibaly in 2009 in an Islamic religious ceremony not recognized by French law. According to judicial records, she was known to French internal security services as being close to Islamic radicals.

The Turkish intelligence official explained that authorities had not arrested Boumeddiene when she was passing through Turkey due to a lack of information from Paris.

das/cmk (AFP/AP)

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