Islamic State magazine interviews Hayat Boumeddiene

Fugitive former wife of terrorist Amédy Coulibaly who killed four Jewish men in Paris supermarket given voice in Isis Q&A article

The wife of the French terrorist who killed five people in Paris following the attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine has given an interview to an Islamic State publication, the Islamist group has claimed.

Hayat Boumeddiene, one of the world’s most wanted women, was thought to have fled France before her husband, Amédy Coulibaly, killed a policewoman in Paris and then went on to gun down four Jewish men at a kosher supermarket in the Porte de Vincennes area of the city.

Her name is not given in the text in the publication Dar al-Islam (The Lands of Islam), and there is no photograph of her accompanying it, but she is presented as the wife of “brother Abou Basir Abdoullah al-Ifriqi”, Coulibaly’s nom de guerre. The interview suggests she is in Islamic State-held territory in Iraq or Syria.

The magazine article, in Q&A form, contains several Koranic verses, and has not been independently verified as being genuine. Officials have said there is nothing in the article that enables them to date it or find out where 26-year-old Boumeddiene might be.

French and American forces have been hunting for Boumeddiene since she disappeared from Europe, travelling to Turkey, from where she was thought to have entered Syria.

On the front of the 14-page magazine, written in French, is a picture of the Eiffel Tower and the headline Qu’Allah maudisse la France (May Allah curse France). It is believed to be produced by the same ‘al-Hayat Media Centre’ that publishes the English-language IS magazine Dabiq.

Asked how she felt about being in the “land of the Califat”, she answers: “Praise be to Allah who made the road easy. I had no difficulty getting here ... I am relieved to have fulfilled this obligation ...”

To a question asking how her husband felt when the Califat was proclaimed, she replies: “He rejoiced greatly ... his heart burned with the desire to join his brothers and fight the enemies of Allah on the Califat’s land. His eyes gleamed each time he saw Islamic State videos and he would say ‘don’t show me that’ because he wanted to leave immediately.”

She also calls on her Muslim sisters to “be strong supports behind their husbands, brothers, fathers and sons” and to “make things easy for them”.

The three attacks in Paris in January, that started when gunmen attacked Charlie Hebdo magazine, left 17 people dead. Coulibaly, who shot a female police office the day after the slaughter of staff at the magazine, then stormed the Hyper Casher supermarket in Porte de Vincenne, south of Paris, killing four men and taking several hostages. During the siege Coulibaly was killed in a police shoot-out.

CCTV footage later emerged showing Boumeddiene arriving at Istanbul airport in Turkey five days before the attacks. Turkish officials believed she crossed into Syria on 8 January, the day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

A spokesperson for the French interior ministry told the Guardian it could not, and would not, comment on the magazine article.


Kim Willsher in Paris

The GuardianTramp

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