French Police Hunt Widow of Slain Terror Suspect

Hayat Boumeddiene may be an accomplice, say authorities
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2015 9:21 AM CST
French Police Hunt Widow of Slain Terror Suspect
A police photo of Hayat Boumddiene.   (AP Photo/Prefecture de Police de Paris)

As police in France track down accomplices of the Kouachi brothers, a 26-year-old woman named Hayat Boumeddiene is near the top of the list. She is the widow of Amedy Coulibaly, the hostage-taker at a kosher market in Paris who was killed in a police raid yesterday. The two were married in an Islamic ceremony in 2009, though the marriage is not recognized by French law, reports AP. Police consider her armed and dangerous, and lots of French newspapers are running one photo in particular of her posing in a head-to-toe veil and holding a crossbow. Boumeddiene herself has never been convicted of a crime, though she has been questioned previously by police about Coulibaly and al-Qaeda. Authorities suspect she was with Coulibaly when he fatally shot a French policewoman this week.

Some reports say she was with him at the market yesterday when he took hostages, but the Telegraph reports that it now appears she was never at the siege and had left earlier in the day. Authorities say she was a friend of Cherif Kouachi's wife and are poring over hundreds of phone calls between them as they investigate the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices, reports AFP. Boumeddiene, a French native, reportedly lost her job as a cashier because she insisted on wearing a full veil known as a niqab. Her mother died 20 years ago, and Boumeddiene went into foster care when her father couldn't support her and her six siblings. She reconciled with her father a year ago, and a friend described him as being "in shock." (Read more Hayat Boumeddiene stories.)

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