Amedy Coulibaly: Female gendarme arrested in Paris swoop

Woman and her boyfriend might have had links to Islamists who attacked Charlie Hebdo

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The Independent Online

A female gendarmerie officer and her boyfriend were among four people under questioning today about their possible links with the Jewish supermarket killer, Amedy Coulibaly.

The young woman, identified only as "Emmanuelle", is accused of searching through computerised gendarmerie intelligence files after the attack to check how much authorities knew about her boyfriend. He, a man identified only as "Amar", is believed to have been with Amedy Coulibaly shortly before he attacked the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on 9 January, murdering four people. Coulibaly, who was killed during a police assault on the building, was operating in coordination with the jihadist Kouachi brothers who had killed 12 people in an attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine two days earlier.

Amar is already in custody on drugs charges. Investigators are said to be unsure whether he was part of the radical Islamist Kouachi-Coulibaly network or just a criminal used by Coulibaly to acquire weapons.

The role of the gendarmerie officer Emmanuelle is a source of great embarrassment to French authorities. She converted to Islam two years ago but hid the fact from her superiors.

She worked at the high-security gendarmerie intelligence headquarters at Rosny-sous-Bois south of Paris, and would switch her gendarmerie cap for an Islamic headscarf when she left the building. It was reported last month that she had, on several occasions, brought her boyfriend into the building without permission.

Sources close to the investigation told the French media that there was no evidence that she was an Islamist extremist or involved in the jihadist attacks in January. She is suspected, however, or entering gendarmerie intelligence files in Rosny-sous-Bois in the days after the attacks to try to discover how much authorities knew about her boyfriend.