Hayat Boumeddiene

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Hayat Boumeddiene
Born (1988-06-26) 26 June 1988 (age 30)
Villiers-sur-Marne, Paris, France
Disappeared Tell Abyad, Syria
10 January 2015 (aged 26)
Nationality French
Known for Suspected accomplice of Amedy Coulibaly
Criminal status Wanted by France since January 2015
Spouse(s) Amedy Coulibaly
(2009–15; his death)

Hayat Boumeddiene (born 26 June 1988)[1] is currently being sought by French police as a suspected accomplice of her common law husband Amedy Coulibaly, who was the main suspect for the Montrouge shooting, in which municipal police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe was shot and killed, and was the hostage-taker and gunman in the Porte de Vincennes siege, in which he killed four hostages and was killed by police.[2][3][4][5]

According to Coulibaly's attorney, she was the more radical of the two.[6] She is currently being sought by French police as a suspected accomplice of Coulibaly, alleged to have helped him commit his attacks. She arrived in Turkey five days before the attacks, was described by newspapers as "France's most wanted woman", and was last tracked on 10 January 2015 to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-controlled border town of Tell Abyad in Syria.[7][8] Hasna Ait Boulahcen who was killed in the later Paris attacks was a fan of hers and lauded her on Facebook.[9][10]


She was born into an Algerian family of seven children, in Villiers-sur-Marne in the eastern suburbs of Paris.[11][12] Her mother died when Boumeddiene was 6. Subsequently she, and some of her six siblings, were taken into foster care. Her father was an infrequent visitor, even more so apparently after he remarried when she was 12,[13] though they are said to have reconciled. She moved often between foster homes because she proved troublesome and violent, and was expelled from foster homes for attacking social workers.[14][15] An investigative source said she altered her surname in her teenage years to "make it sound more French".[11]

Boumeddiene was employed as a cashier in 2009 when she met Coulibaly in Juvisy-sur-Orge, southeast of Paris.[11][14][16] She lost her job that year after insisting on covering herself at work in a head-to-toe niqab.[11][17] She and Coulibaly lived in Bagneux, a southern suburb of Paris, and were very religious.[11]

In 2010, during four days of questioning after police discovered large amounts of assault rifle ammunition in her flat, Boumeddiene told counter-terrorism officers that she saw some terrorist attacks as justifiable.[11][18] She said that she and Coulibaly had visited French-Algerian jihadist terrorist Djamel Beghal "for crossbow practice."[11][19]

Police say she was frequently in contact with Chérif Kouachi's wife, including 500 calls between them in 2014.[20][21] She and Coulibaly disappeared in December 2014.[11]

Escape and manhunt[edit]

According to Spanish authorities, Coulibaly drove her from France to Madrid, Spain, on 31 December 2014, and stayed with her until 2 January 2015.[22] According to Turkish authorities, on 2 January 2015 Boumeddiene flew from Madrid to Istanbul, Turkey, with 23-year-old Mahdi Sabri Belhoucine, a French citizen of North African origin whose brother Mohammed was convicted of terrorism charges in 2010 in France and imprisoned for a year in Villepinte prison, and both had return tickets dated 9 January that they never used.[23][24][25][26][27][11][28] Because of her "suspicious behavior," Turkey's intelligence agency (the National Intelligence Organisation (MİT)) put her under surveillance, following her movements for two days, listening to her cellphone conversations, and tracking her cellphone until she left Turkey.[29][30][31][32] While in Turkey, the two stayed at a hotel in Istanbul in adjoining rooms, according to Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.[33][34] Turkish officials said she and Mahdi Sabri Belhoucine left Istanbul for Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey close to the Syrian border on 4 January. They stayed there four days, during which time Boumeddiene phoned France several times.[26][27][35]

Map of Akçakale, Turkey, and Tell Abyad, Syria, where Boumeddiene was last tracked

Boumeddiene is believed to have then crossed the Syria–Turkey border into Syria with Sabri on 8 January, on the day Coulibaly shot and killed a policewoman, using her car in the attack.[35][36][37] Çavuşoğlu said: "We understand this thanks to telephone recordings."[38] The last recorded phone call from her was on 10 January, from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-controlled town of Tell Abyad in Syria, close to the border and directly across it from Akçakale.[26][31][39] The New York Times stated that she "is reported to have fled abroad, possibly to Syria to try and join the Islamic State, to which Mr. Coulibaly declared allegiance".[40]

She is currently being sought in connection with having allegedly helped Coulibaly commit his attacks, and has been described by newspapers as "France's most wanted woman".[21][32][41][42][43][44] She is described by French police as "armed and extremely dangerous", having trained to use firearms, and is on the run.[45] A French police official said Boumeddiene is part of a terrorist cell of about eight people.[46][47]

In February 2015, French authorities were investigating whether a woman in a video released 3 February by French-speaking ISIS fighters might be Boumeddiene. The video, titled Blow Up France 2, shows a woman standing next to the ISIS speaker, wearing camouflage clothing and holding a weapon.[48] The Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq praised her in a long interview, and Hasna Aitboulahcen who was killed in the later Paris attacks was a fan of hers and lauded her on Facebook.[9][10]


  1. ^ Gardner, Bill (10 January 2015). "Armed and dangerous: the hunt for Hayat Boumeddiene". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  2. ^ Video: Hayat Boumeddiene arriving in Turkey, Al Arabiya News
  3. ^ "Paris attacks: Police hunt kosher grocery store gunman's girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene as pictures of her firing crossbows emerge". The Independent.
  4. ^ "Attack suspect was known to French authorities". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  5. ^ "The End of the Sieges in France". The New Yorker. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  6. ^ Jake Tapper; Katie Hinman; Saskya Vandoorne (12 January 2015). "Female terror suspect more radical than boyfriend?". CNN.
  7. ^ "Islamic State magazine interviews Hayat Boumeddiene". Guardian.com. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  8. ^ Young Woman Killed in Paris Raid Led Troubled Life, The Wall Street Journal
  9. ^ a b For Woman Dead in French Police Raid, Unlikely Path to Terror, The New York Times
  10. ^ a b The French female extremist’s curious path to Islamist violence, The Washington Post
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Paris shootings: France's most wanted woman Hayat Boumeddiene has 'escaped to Syria'". The Telegraph. 10 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Increasing Number Of Western Women Flee To Syria". NPR. 14 January 2015.
  13. ^ François Labrouillère et Aurélie Raya (30 January 2015). "Hayat Boumeddiene et Amedy Coulibaly – Le destin monstrueux d'un couple ordinaire". Paris Match (in French).
  14. ^ a b "The Widow of a Paris Terrorist and Other Real Wives of Islamic State", The Daily Beast, 14 January 2015
  15. ^ "Female Terrorists Finding Their Place in Islamic Militants' Ranks", Military.com
  16. ^ "From bikini babe to burka-clad jihadi fighter with a crossbow: 'Wife' of Kosher supermarket killer becomes France's most wanted woman after going on the run". Daily Mail. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Who Carried Out The Paris Attacks?". NPR. 10 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Hayat Boumeddiene: France's most wanted woman 'had sister living in Britain'". Telegraph. 14 January 2015.
  19. ^ "France's most wanted woman may have traveled to Syria, reports say". Fox News.
  20. ^ "Terrorists' Web of Hate Extends Far Beyond France". The Huffington Post.
  21. ^ a b Stacy Meichtry; David Gauthier-Villars; Noémie Bisserbe (10 January 2015). "Charlie Hebdo Attack: French Police Kill Gunmen in Two Places". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  22. ^ "Spain: French gunman traveled to Madrid before attacking". SFGate.
  23. ^ Noémie Bisserbe, Benoît Faucon And Stacy Meichtry (30 January 2015). "Underground Terror Network Said to Benefit Would-Be Jihadists in Europe". The Wall Street Journal.
  24. ^ "Latest local news from San Luis Obispo, CA – The Tribune". sanluisobispo.com. Archived from the original on 2015-01-19.
  25. ^ "Paris suspect Hayat Boumeddiene 'caught on Turkey CCTV'". BBC News.
  26. ^ a b c "Who is Hayat Boumeddiene?". BBC Newsbeat.
  27. ^ a b "How the female terror suspect fled Europe unnoticed". CBS News. 12 January 2015.
  28. ^ "Video shows woman wanted in Paris attacks". Washington Post. 12 January 2015.
  29. ^ "Suspected Paris Accomplice Hayat Boumeddiene Crossed Into Syria: Official". NBC News.
  30. ^ "Paris attack: Hayat Boumeddiene entered Syria, says Turkey, insisting it's not at fault". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  31. ^ a b "Local News". Fresno Bee.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ a b "Paris Attacks: Is Accomplice Hayat Boumedienne Now in ISIS Town?". NBC News.
  33. ^ Cite error: The named reference parfrançoislabrouilléreetaurélieraya was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  34. ^ "Turkey: Wife Of Paris Terror Suspect Crossed Into Syria". USA Today. 12 January 2015.
  35. ^ a b "Turkish Press Review – Monday, January 12, 2015". Turkish Press. 12 January 2015.
  36. ^ Proche des frères Kouachi, la compagne de Coulibaly aurait quitté la FranceFrance 24 10 January 2015
  37. ^ Kim Hjelmgaard (12 January 2015). "Kerry to travel to Paris for anti-extremist talks". USA Today.
  38. ^ "Turkish security collected fingerprints of French jihadist's wanted partner – CRIME". Hurriyet Daily News.
  39. ^ Frank Nordhausen. "Charlie Hebdo: Die Spur führt nach Syrien" (in German).
  40. ^ French Police Say Suspect in Attack Evolved From Petty Criminal to Terrorist, The New York Times
  41. ^ "France's most-wanted woman: Hayat Boumeddiene". Yahoo News. 10 January 2015.
  42. ^ "Video: Hayat Boumeddiene: France's most wanted – in 60 seconds". The Telegraph. 13 January 2015.
  43. ^ "What do we know about the Kouachi brothers?". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  44. ^ "Evidence grows that France's most wanted woman is in Syria". euronews.
  45. ^ "'Wife' of Kosher supermarket killer 'armed and dangerous' and on the run, police warn". nyooztrend.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  46. ^ Noémie Bisserbe; Daniel Michaels; Stacy Meichtry; Joe Parkinson (10 January 2015). "Partner of Paris Gunman Believed to Be in Syria". Wall Street Journal.
  47. ^ Doug Stanglin; Jane Onyanga-Omara (13 January 2015). "French police link terrorist cell to foreign financing". USA Today.
  48. ^ cnn.com , 4 February 2015 kosher grocery attack boumedienne