Suspected female jihadi, Hayat Boumedienne, probably left France before attacks

Suspected female jihadi, Hayat Boumedienne, probably left France before attacks

[Ed. – Plus, it’s official now: France is at war.]

Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared Saturday that France was at war with radical Islam after the harrowing sieges that led to the deaths of three gunmen and four hostages the day before. New details emerged about the bloody final confrontations, and security forces remained on high alert. …

The authorities started the day hunting for the companion of one of the killers, only to learn later that she appeared to have fled to Turkey and then probably to Syria days before the first assault in Paris on Wednesday. The police had suspected that the woman — Hayat Boumedienne, 26, the girlfriend of Amedy Coulibaly, believed to be one of the gunmen — might have played a role in one or more of the attacks.

“We are 99 percent sure that she traveled to Syria from Urfa,” said a Turkish intelligence official, referring to a city in southern Turkey. “There is no evidence that suggests she was involved in the terrorist attacks in France this week.” …

The precise nature of the relationships among the Kouachi brothers, Mr. Coulibaly, the Islamic State and another terrorist group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, remained murky. …

Le Monde, citing counterterrorism officials, said that the links between Mr. Coulibaly and Chérif Kouachi appeared to stretch back to 2010, and that telephone wiretaps showed that they had frequently visited Djamel Beghal, a French-Algerian champion of jihad who had once been imprisoned for planning an attack on the American Embassy in Paris in 2001.

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