An intense manhunt for a 26-year-old woman implicated in the attacks in France this week is underway. Police are scouring the city of Paris and surrounding areas, and there is a heavy presence at train stations and airports as authorities tighten the noose around the suspect, identified as Hayat Boumeddiene.
As the nation tries to come to terms about what has happened this week, starting with the brutal attacks against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which resulted in the deaths of 11 staffers and one police officer, thousands have come out to show their support for the victims. Vigils and gatherings have taken place in Paris, with people showing their solidarity with those killed.
Phrases such as “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) and “Not afraid” have been seen, as mourners refuse to stand down in the face of this tragedy. But not only did Paris residents have to deal with the shooting at the publication, on Friday, as police surrounded the suspects in the murders — brothers Cherif and Said Bouachi — another hostage situation ensued.
Police said Amedy Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddiene attacked a Kosher grocery store, taking 19 hostages, four of whom were killed. Coulibaly — who is suspected of killing an unarmed police woman on Thursday — was killed when police stormed the building shortly after doing the same at a warehouse located north of Paris, where the brothers were holed up with a hostage, killing them.
Now, with the nation still on edge, a manhunt for Boumeddiene — who is believed to be Coulibaly’s wife — is underway. The woman has reportedly been trained as a terrorist herself. She is also implicated in the murder of the police woman, and it’s believed that she was inside the Kosher store at the time of the attack, but escaped in the confusion that ensued when police stormed in.
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) January 10, 2015
French police are seeking the public’s help in locating the 26-year-old suspected to be involved in the attacks in France. If you have any information, you are urged to call 0 805 02 17 17.
The search for the suspect is hindered by the so-called “No Go Zones” in Paris, which police are not authorized to enter without permission from the community leaders. There are at least seven known such areas in Paris, where Sharia law — an extreme form of Islamic law — rules and the national laws don’t apply.
Experts believe that such “No Go Zones” are breeding ground for terror cells such as the one which orchestrated the Charlie Hebdo shooting and Kosher attack this past week. At least one of the Kouachi brothers had traveled to Yemen, and one of the witnesses at the satirical magazine reports that the shooters identified themselves as being part of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al Qaeda in Yemen has officially taken responsibility for the attacks in France.
France has had a policy of appeasement in regards to Islamic extremists, including releasing frozen funds for Iran and paying ransom for hostages held by terrorist groups around the world to the tune of millions of dollars. The money from these payments are thought to go to finance attacks such as the ones in France.
In the last few hour, French authorities have warned the country of more attacks. Americans have also been warned to be vigilant when traveling the globe.
[Image via Twitter]