Charlie Hebdo, market assaults turned widow into fugitive

Paris, September 5

The fugitive widow of the Islamic State killer who plotted assaults in opposition to the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and a kosher market calls residence to France annually to catch up, her sisters testified, providing new particulars about one of many world’s most needed girls.

Hayat Boumeddiene is the one lady amongst 14 folks being tried in French terrorism courtroom for the January 7-9, 2015, assaults that left 17 folks lifeless together with all three attackers, together with her husband.

Boumeddiene left for Syria just a few days earlier than the assaults. She and the 2 males who organized her escape are being tried in absentia as accomplices within the assaults.

The different 11 defendants whose two-month trial started September 2 are accused of serving to with logistics, together with shopping for the weapons and tactical gear for brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi and Amédy Coulibaly. Most say they’d no thought the plan was for a mass killing, saying they believed it was for an extraordinary crime.

Saadia Benali, whose household took in Boumeddiene for 5 years, late Friday described her fugitive sister’s spiritual marriage to Coulibaly and the couple’s deepening perception in ever extra radical types of Islam.

Benali herself was dressed head to toe within the black gown and veil worn by many religious Muslims as she testified.

She mentioned Coulibaly, a profession prison with a number of convictions for theft and violence even earlier than he stormed the Hyper Cacher grocery store, “was very sweet, gentle, respectful.”   

“He went to the extreme to avenge his brothers. I think he was someone who was just too sensitive,” she mentioned. “And Hayat lived for Amédy.”         

Benali mentioned Boumeddiene calls her no less than annually, the final time on the finish of 2019. She mentioned she did not trouble telling police about it “because I know I’m being tapped.” 

Soon after the assaults, Boumeddiene known as to apologise, mentioned her older sister, Keltoum.

“She apologized for any trouble she could have caused us, but not for the rest,” Keltoum Boumeddiene mentioned. She did not speak a lot about her husband, Benali mentioned.

“She just said ISIS was so proud of what he’d done. She was very protected, she was doing her thing, euphoric. She tried to get us to come to Syria. She was just in her own world. I thought she’d been brainwashed,” Benali mentioned.

More just lately, she’s been “less happy, less vibrant than she was at the beginning,” Keltoum Boumeddiene mentioned. But by no means has she mentioned she needs to return to France. Her sisters say she has no kids.

Boumeddiene’s personal childhood was troubled. Her mom died when she was 8, and her first foster household despatched her away after she was accused of attempting to beat up a policewoman at age 14. She landed within the Benali household at age 14, and stayed there till she met Coulibaly at age 19.

She stored her relationship with Coulibaly hidden at first as a result of her foster father did not need her to marry an African.

“She went back to her biological father to be able to marry him,” Benali mentioned.

She hasn’t talked about any new relationships since, mentioned her older sister, describing their most up-to-date name as “just catching up. From what she told me, she hasn’t made a new life for herself. She’s single and surrounded by families and children.”

It was throughout certainly one of Coulibaly’s many stints in jail that he met one of many Kouachi brothers — and many of the 11 different defendants. What most have in frequent are previous convictions for drug trafficking, violence or organized crime. Most have used the phrase “shame” to explain their present predicament.

The solely one of many 11 accused as a direct confederate within the assaults is Ali Riza Polat, a pal of Coulibaly’s who described himself as “a man of money, not religion.”         “If I had just stuck with drugs, I wouldn’t be here,” Polat mentioned. Asked by the decide what he would do if he leaves jail, Polat was unequivocal.

“I’ll go back to crime, I tell you that openly. I’m not into religious conflict. I’m not against anyone.”          

As for Charlie Hebdo and the assault on the grocery store? “You can’t do that. You can’t kill people, innocent people.” AP

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