France on High Alert, Search for Terror Accomplice Continues - News Hunter Magazine


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Sunday, 11 January 2015

France on High Alert, Search for Terror Accomplice Continues

PARIS—French authorities have beefed up security on the eve of a march
paying tribute to the 17 victims of terrorist sieges this week in
Paris and a town to its northeast. They've also expanded their dragnet
for a woman believed to be the accomplice of three gunmen killed in
twin police raids Friday.

Police are hunting for Hayat Boumeddiene, 26. She is the girlfriend of
one of the slain gunmen, Amedy Coulibaly. On Friday, he had bolted
into a kosher supermarket in Paris and taken customers and staff
hostage for several hours.

Coulibaly was killed in a police raid, along with four hostages,
around 5 p.m. local time. Initial reports from the scene said
Boumeddiene might have escaped in the confusion as other shoppers fled
the store.

The raid occurred almost simulaneously with another on two brothers
believed responsible for Wednesday's deadly attack on the Charlie
Hebdostaff in Paris.

Cherif and Said Kouachi, who'd taken a hostage in Dammartin-en-Goele,
came out of hiding in a warehouse and began firing as police moved in.
They fell in a hail of police bullets.

Sunday's march in Paris is expected to draw more than 1 million people
showing unity against extremism and memorializing victims of the
three-day terrorist siege. The French news agency AFP has
characterized it as the deadliest in a half century.

France's interior minister said more than 5,500 police and military
personnel would be deployed to heighten security for the march, AFP

Security remains at its highest level, as authorities search for
Boumeddiene and explore the terrorists' links to each other and to
Islamist extremist groups.

Boumeddiene may have left France, according to news accounts. A
Turkish intelligence official told The Associated Press on Saturday
that a woman by the same name, and resembling the suspect's widely
circulated photo, flew to Istanbul on January 2.

The official said Turkish authorities believe the woman two days later
went to Sanliurfa, a city near the Syrian border, and "she then
disappeared," AP reported.

A source told Reuters that a woman fitting Boumeddiene's profile flew
from Madrid to Istanbul on January 2 and had a return ticket for
January 9 but did not take the flight. The source said Turkish
authorities indicated she crossed the border into Syria on Thursday.

"We call on her to put herself in the hands of justice," French
national police chief Jean-Marc Falcone told BFM-TV, Reuters reported.

Credit: VOA News

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