#JeSuisJuif and the Hunt for Suspect Hayat Boumeddiene

#JeSuisJuif and the Hunt for Suspect Hayat Boumeddiene

Following up on the previous stories of the day, detailing the end of the Kouachi brothers during their last stand near Charles de Gaulle Airport, and the hostage-taking by other terrorists at a kosher supermarket in Paris. We now know that the assault on the supermarket was apparently an attempt to distract police in order to help the brothers escape. Four hostages within the supermarket were killed at the very beginning of the siege. The terrorists in the kosher supermarket were Amedy Coulibaly, 32, and his common-law wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26.

At the kosher grocery near the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood in Paris, the gunman burst in shooting just a few hours before the Jewish Sabbath began, declaring “You know who I am,” the official recounted. The attack came before sundown when the store would have been crowded with shoppers.

Coulibaly killed the four people in the market shortly after entering, (Paris Prosecutor Francois) Molins said.

Several people who were wounded when the gunman opened fire in the grocery store fled and got medical care, the official said.

Minutes before police stormed both sites, Coulibaly had threatened to kill his five hostages if authorities launched an assault on the two brothers, a police official said.

Coulibaly and Boumeddiene are also suspected in yesterday’s murder of French policewoman Clarissa Jean-Philippe, which authorities determined was linked to the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Coulibaly also confirmed to a French media outlet that he contacted that he and the Kouachis were working in concert, though he claimed affiliation with Islamic State, or ISIS, and the Kouachis claimed to be part of Al Qaeda.

Coulibaly had also called BFM-TV to claim allegiance to Islamic State, saying he wanted to defend Palestinians and target Jews.

Coulibaly said he had jointly planned the attacks with the Kouachi brothers, and police confirmed they were all members of the same Islamist cell in northern Paris.

With that kind of motivation, the kosher supermarket was a perfect target for both a distraction and killing French Jews. The hashtag #JeSuisJuif (I am Jewish) has not proved to be as popular on Twitter as #JeSuisCharlie.

In an atmosphere that does not want to admit that Islam is the problem, recognizing that Jews are a particular target is an inconvenient truth.

And where has Coulibaly’s common-law wife Hayat Boumeddiene disappeared to? She appears to have escaped when Coulibaly was killed by French police. They had booby-trapped the supermarket with dynamite, which probably bought her enough time to get away.

Picture of Hayat Boumeddiene, as released by French police
Picture of Hayat Boumeddiene, as released by French police

The couple ‘married’ in a religious ceremony after Boumedienne, who was never seen without her veil, waited four years for him to come out of jail following his conviction for armed robbery.
The couple were never married in a civil ceremony – the only marriage legally accepted in France.
While Coulibaly had a well documented track record, Boumeddiene tonight remains a shadowy figure.
But it’s becoming clear that the one-time cashier was radicalised after meeting the man she would marry.
She is from an Algerian background and altered her surname to ‘make it sound more French’, according to an investigating source.
She told police who interviewed her as part of their inquiries into Coulibaly’s murky dealings with Islamic extremists that she had walked away from a low-paid job as a cashier in the Juvisy suburb of Paris in 2009 and taken the veil. She ‘devoted herself’ to Coulibay.

The couple lived in nearby Bagneux, where they were known as devoutly religious couple, despite Coulibay’s regular run-ins with the law.
To neighbours the pair were quiet, respectful and normal and had even gone on a holiday to Malaysia together.
But a month ago they simply disappeared from their suburban house until flashed across the world’s screens today.

Boumeddiene is considered armed and dangerous, and is now the most wanted person in France.

Here’s hoping she is found, quickly, and without further loss of innocent life.

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