Turkey: Widow of Paris Gunman Is in Syria

She flew to Turkey on Jan. 2, crossed over Thursday, says foreign minister
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2015 7:17 AM CST
Hayat Boumeddiene. Turkey's foreign minister said today that Boumeddiene, wife of Amedy Coulibaly, crossed into Syria from Turkey on Jan. 8.   (AP Photo/Prefecture de Police de Paris, File)
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(Newser) – The 26-year-old woman sought by French police as the widow and potential accomplice of Paris deli shooter Amedy Coulibaly is in Syria, Turkey's foreign minister confirmed today. The timeline that Mevlut Cavusoglu is offering up indicates that Hayat Boumeddiene crossed over into Syria after Wednesday's slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, but potentially before her husband's killing spree began: Citing "telephone recordings," Cavusoglu says that Boumeddiene flew from Madrid to Turkey on Jan. 2, then entered Syria on Thursday, reports NBC News—the day her common-law husband is accused of killing a French policewoman. "We provided [French authorities] with the information as soon as we got it, without them even asking," he says.

Germany, at least, is unimpressed; its domestic spy chief said today that Turkey is a "key country" that needs to do more to stem the tide of radicals crossing through it into Syria, USA Today reports. It's estimated that north of 90% of extremists headed to Syria cross through Turkey. France confirmed today that it's still seeking at least one probable accomplice, with PM Manuel Valls saying that "the threat is still present" and "the hunt will go on." The AP has more on Boumeddiene's movements: She apparently stayed at an Istanbul hotel with an unnamed 23-year-old man before heading for Turkey's border with Syria. Her last cell transmission came from a border town on Thursday, and she apparently crossed over into ISIS-controlled territory. Meanwhile, video emerged yesterday of Coulibaly declaring his allegiance to ISIS.

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