World Bulletin/News Desk
Hayat Boumeddiene, dubbed as France’s most wanted woman, is in Syria and went there before this week’s deadly attacks, French media report.
Reports in French dailies Le Monde, Le Figaro and other French media said on the Saturday that Boumeddiene, wife of Amedy Coulibaly, who had killed 4 hostages at a supermarket in Paris, has been in Syria since January 2.
Quoting police forces, media cited that Boumeddiene, wanted by French authorities for being an accomplice in recent attacks that left 17 people dead, left French soil on the second of January, and through Madrid and Istanbul, arrived in Syria on the 8th.
French Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre Henry Brandet's office didn't answer phone calls for more detail.
Three suspected gunmen, involved in the worst terror attacks France saw in decades, were killed Friday, according to authorities.
“Said Kouachi, 34, Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Amedy Coulibaly, 32 were killed in the two operations," Paris Prosecutor Francois Mollins told a press conference in the city Friday.
According to the French daily Le Monde, Prosecutor Mollins said Boumeddiene was only 26 and once worked as a cashier. She is suspected of helping plan the deadly attacks in the country.
The Paris prosecutor confirmed media reports that the brothers and Coulibaly were associates, and said an examination of telephone conversations of the suspects revealed that Cherif’s wife, Izzana Hamyd, made more than 500 calls in 2014 to Boumeddiene.
Mollins said the figure demonstrated “consistent and sustained ties between the two couples."
Le Monde also said police records showed that "the wives of the three gunmen frequently exchanged visits during 2010."
Police on Friday published photos of Coulibaly and Boumediene in connection with the killing of 27-year-old police officer Clarissa Jean-Philipp in Montrouge a day earlier.
Boumeddiene then was described as "armed and dangerous."
High-level security alert
French security forces were on high alert before a march on Sunday which will bring together European leaders in a show of solidarity.
"It's no longer like before," said Maria Pinto, on a street in central Paris. "You work a whole life through and because of these madmen, you leave your house to go shopping, go to work, and you don't know if you'll come home."
Participation of European leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel, Britain's David Cameron and Italy's Matteo Renzi in a silent march through Paris with President Francois Hollande will pose further demands for security forces on Sunday.
Political and security chiefs were reviewing how two French-born brothers of Algerian extraction, Cherif and Said Kouachi, could have carried out the Charlie Hebdo attacks despite having been on surveillance and "no-fly" lists for many years.
Paris chief prosecutor Francois Molins said late Friday the three men killed on Friday in the two security operations had had a large arsenal of weapons and had set up booby traps. They had a loaded M82 rocket launcher, two Kalashnikov machine guns and two automatic pistols on them.
With one of the gunmen saying shortly before his death that he was funded by al Qaeda, Hollande warned that the danger to France - home to the European Union's biggest communities of both Muslims and Jews - was not over yet.
"These madmen, fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim religion," Hollande said in a televised address.
"France has not seen the end of the threats it faces," said Hollande, facing record unpopularity over his handling of the economy but whose government has received praise from at least one senior opposition leader for its handling of the crisis.
An audio recording posted on YouTube attributed to a leader of the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda (AQAP) said the attack was prompted by insults to prophets but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the assault on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.
Palestinian group Hamas in a statement condemned the strike as an unjustifiable terrorist attack.
Netanyahu calls for securing more Jewish centers
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday asked French President Francois Hollande to maintain "heightened security" at Jewish institutions, even after the situation returned to normal in France.
"The entire people of Israel are with you," Netanyahu was quoted by his office as telling the French President in a phone conversation.
"Israel [is ready to] offer any assistance that France needs," the office added in a statement.
It added that Netanyahu told Hollande that he had given instructions for offering whatever assistance French authorities needed.
Netanyahu said that the international community ought to take unified action against "terrorists" as well as their supporters, the office said in the statement.
It added that the Israeli Prime Minister noted that this action ought to be taken also against the sources of terrorism funding and the "network of incitement that encourages such acts."
Last Mod: 10 Ocak 2015, 21:43