Hayat Boumeddiene is the widow of Frenchman Amedy Coulibaly, the pro-ISIS terrorist who carried out the January 9, 2015, kosher supermarket attack in Paris, killing four people.Daniel Politi, “France’s Most Wanted: Who Is Hayat Boumeddiene?” Slate, January 10, 2015, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/01/10/france_s_most_wanted_who_is_hayat_boumeddiene.html. According to French authorities, one week before the attack, Boumeddiene fled from Spain to Istanbul, Turkey, where she stayed for a few days before crossing into Syria to purportedly join ISIS.Emily Thomas, “Who is Hayat Boumeddiene?” BBC News, January 12, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/30760975/who-is-hayat-boumeddiene. Both Boumeddiene and Coulibaly were alleged associates of French brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attacks on January 7, 2015.Daniel Politi, “France’s Most Wanted: Who Is Hayat Boumeddiene?” Slate, January 10, 2015, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/01/10/france_s_most_wanted_who_is_hayat_boumeddiene.html.
During an interview with police in 2010, Boumeddiene admitted to officials that she, Coulibaly, and the Kouachi brothers had visited notorious al-Qaeda recruiter Djamel Beghal that year at his home in Murat, France, “for crossbow practice.”Bill Gardner and Ben Farmer, “Paris shootings: France’s most wanted woman Hayat Boumeddiene has ‘escaped to Syria’,” Telegraph (London), January 10, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11337944/Paris-shootings-Frances-most-wanted-woman-Hayat-Boumeddiene-has-escaped-to-Syria.html. After the Charlie Hebdo and supermarket attacks in January 2015, French investigators again linked Boumeddiene and Coulibaly to the Kouachi brothers after discovering over 500 phone calls between Boumeddiene and Cherif Kouachi’s wife throughout 2014.Emily Thomas, “Who is Hayat Boumeddiene?” BBC News, January 12, 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/30760975/who-is-hayat-boumeddiene. Authorities suspect Boumeddiene played a crucial role in facilitating communication between Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers.Emma Graham-Harrison, “Hayat Boumeddiene: France’s most wanted person after Paris terror attacks,” Guardian (London), January 10, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/10/hayat-boumeddiene-paris-terror-amedy-coulibaly-france.
Following the January 9, 2015, Hyper Cacher attack, French officials attempted to track Boumeddiene’s route into Syria. That February, ISIS’s online English magazine, Dabiq included an interview the group claimed was with Boumeddiene, suggesting that she had left Europe and was living in ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq or Syria.Kim Willsher, “Islamic State magazine interviews Hayat Boumeddiene,” Guardian (London), February 12, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/12/islamic-state-magazine-interviews-hayat-boumeddiene. In the interview, Boumeddiene called upon Muslim women to “be strong supporters behind their husbands, brothers, fathers and sons” in order to “make things easy for them.”Kim Willsher, “Islamic State magazine interviews Hayat Boumeddiene,” Guardian (London), February 12, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/12/islamic-state-magazine-interviews-hayat-boumeddiene.
Date of Birth
Place of birth
Place of residence
ISIS-held territory in Iraq or Syria (suspected)
French officials have classified Boumeddiene as a “crucial witness” to the attacks due to her five-year marriage to Coulibaly. Beyond that, her exact role in the attacks is unknown, and authorities are unsure what role she has played for ISIS since her purported interview.Ben Farmer and Gregory Walton, “Paris Shooter’s Girlfriend Told Police That People Have The Right To ‘Take Up Arms Against The Oppresors,” Business Insider, January 12, 2015, http://www.businessinsider.com/hayat-boumeddiene-interviewed-by-police-in-2010-2015-1.
Hayat Boumeddiene February 2015
Interview in Dabiq:
“My sisters, be bases of support and safety for your husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons. Be advisors to them. They should find comfort and peace with you. Do not make things difficult for them. Facilitate all matters for them.”Aaron Y. Zelin, “al-Hayat Media Center presents a new issue of the Islamic State’s magazine: ‘Dabiq #7’,” Jihadology, February 12, 2015, http://jihadology.net/2015/02/12/al-hayat-media-center-presents-a-new-issue-of-the-islamic-states-magaqine-dabiq-7/.
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