Turkey confirms Paris attacks wife in Syria – USA TODAY
The common-law wife of one of the suspected Paris attackers crossed into Syria from Turkey the day before her husband held hostages in a kosher supermarket in Paris, Turkey’s foreign minister confirmed Monday.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Hayat Boumediene, 26, the spouse of Amedy Coulibaly, 32, arrived in Istanbul on Jan. 2, stayed at a hotel there for about a week and then entered Syria on Jan. 8., Turkey’s Anadolu new agency said, citing comments made in an interview with Cavusoglu
French media had been reporting since the weekend that Boumeddiene was most likely in Turkey before the deadly attacks in Paris that killed 17 people — 12 at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, four at the Jewish supermarket and in a separate incident on the outskirts of Paris where a 27-year-old police officer was shot dead, possibly by Coulibaly.
However until Monday’s confirmation, Ankara had not commented publicly on Boumediene’s suspected whereabouts.
The developments comes as security forces in France on Monday are hunting for what the prime minister called a “probable accomplice” to the three days of bloodshed and terror around the capital. Manuel Valls said the search is urgent because “the threat is still present.”
Around 10,000 security forces are being deployed to the country’s most vulnerable locations, including Jewish schools, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s defense minister said.
Meanwhile, Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, told ARD television Monday that Turkey needed to do more to prevent extremists crossing into Syria to join the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations.
Maassen said that Turkey is a “key country” because well over 90% of the radicals traveled to Syria via the nation that sits on the southeastern fringe of Europe and is a traditional gateway to the Mideast.
Contributing: Associated Press