Female Paris attacks suspect entered Turkey, may now be in Syria: Turkish source
by Daily Sabah with AFP
ANKARAJan 10, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with AFP
Jan 10, 2015 12:00 am
Hayat Boumeddiene, the wanted partner of one of the gunmen shot dead by police after three days of high drama in France, arrived in Turkey before the killings and may now be in Syria, a Turkish security source told AFP Saturday.
"She entered Turkey on January 2," the source said, adding that Boumeddiene had a return ticket from Madrid to Istanbul.
The source said she was believed to have moved on to the southeastern Turkish city of Şanlıurfa and then to Syria but there was "no concrete data" to prove this.
The source said Turkey did not arrest her because of a lack of timely intelligence from France.
"We do not have the luxury to prevent everyone entering without intelligence sharing," said the source, who asked not to be named. "If the intelligence sharing had been timely then she could have been extradited."
But the source added that the intelligence sharing between the two sides has since intensified and was now "better than normal."
It has also been reported that Turkish security and intelligence agencies are working with France to locate Hayat Boumeddiene.
The official's remarks confirm that Boumeddiene was already outside France when the killing spree began, contrary to earlier speculation she had been involved in the Paris killings.
French police had initially suspected the 26-year-old may have had a role in her partner Amedy Coulibaly's acts of violence when he shot dead a policewoman on Thursday and took people hostage in a Paris siege on Friday.
But French police sources said earlier Saturday she was likely already in Turkey at the time of the attacks.
Her arrival in Turkey on January 2 also means she was already out of France on Wednesday when two other gunmen slaughtered 12 people at the office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, kicking off the three traumatic days of violence in France.
Ankara has insisted it is now doing all it can to ensure full border security and has repeatedly said the West also has a responsibility to share intelligence.
According to French daily Le Monde, Boumeddiene has had over 500 phone conversations with Cherif Kouachi's - one of the terrorists who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attack resulting in the killing of 12 people - wife throughout 2014. It was also reported that Boumeddiene and Amedy Coulibaly had lived together since 2009 but were not officially married.