Video may show woman tied to Paris kosher shop attack
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Video may show woman tied to Paris kosher shop attack

Authorities believe Hayat Boumeddiene features in footage from French Islamic State group

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Screen capture from an earlier video released by French-speaking Islamic State members that may show fugitive terror suspect Hayat Boumeddiene (front row Right) who is wanted in France. (screen capture: YouTube/24/7 News online)
Screen capture from an earlier video released by French-speaking Islamic State members that may show fugitive terror suspect Hayat Boumeddiene (front row Right) who is wanted in France. (screen capture: YouTube/24/7 News online)

French authorities are carefully examining a video released by jihadists to check if a masked woman featured in the clip is the fugitive partner of a terrorist who killed four Jewish people and a policewoman in France last month, CNN reported on Thursday.

The video clip, titled “Blow up France 2” and apparently made by French-speaking Islamic State members, was published on Tuesday and shows a group of people armed with rifles, including a woman resembling Hayat Boumeddiene, who is believed to be in Syria.

Although the woman is clad in camouflage clothing and a head covering that reveals only her eyes, authorities believe she may be the longtime partner of Amedy Coulibaly, one of three terrorists who carried out a series of attacks in Paris during January, including on a kosher supermarket.

“French authorities are investigating the possibility this woman could be Hayat Boumeddiene,” a source said according to the report.

In the video, the jihadists threaten further attacks on France.

“If you fight for democracy, we will fight for Islam,” the leader of the group says. “You will have to accept that we will react fully to the numerous crimes you committed. You took our rights. Therefore you can’t expect to be in peace.”

An image released on January 9, 2015 by the French police shows Hayat Boumeddiene (L) and Amedy Coulibaly (R), who killed four people at a Jewish grocery store on January 9, 2015. (photo credit: AFP/FRENCH POLICE)
An image released on January 9, 2015 by the French police shows Hayat Boumeddiene (L) and Amedy Coulibaly (R), who killed four people at a Jewish grocery store on January 9, 2015. (photo credit: AFP/FRENCH POLICE)

The Paris attacks started with the January 7 massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo where 12 people were shot dead by the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.

In a separate incident the next day Coulibaly shot a policewoman to death on the outskirts of Paris and then killed four Jewish hostages at a kosher supermarket the day after that.

All three gunmen were eventually shot dead by police.

Boumeddiene, who is suspected of having had a role in her partner’s attacks, was seen traveling through Turkey with a male companion before reportedly arriving in Syria with him on January 8 — the day after the Charlie Hebdo attack and the same day Coulibaly began his murderous spree.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the state-run Anadolu Agency that she had stayed at a hotel in Istanbul with another person before crossing into Syria on Thursday. She and her traveling companion, a 23-year-old man, toured Istanbul, then left January 4 for a town near the Turkish border, according to a Turkish intelligence official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

Her last phone signal was on January 8 from the border town of Akcakale, where she crossed over apparently into Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, the official said. Their January 9 return plane tickets to Madrid went unused.

The Associated Press and AFP contributed to this report.

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