Father of Hayat Boumeddiene had no idea his daughter is France's 'most-wanted' woman

Hayat Boumeddiene is partner of Amedy Coulibaly who killed five people

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The Independent Online

The father of the most-wanted woman in France is reported to have been shocked at seeing his daughter’s mugshot on the news as he had no idea she is allegedly involved in terrorist activity.

Mohamed Boumeddiene is the widowed parent of 26-year-old Hayat who is believed to have fled France to Syria after her partner Amedy Coulibaly shot dead five people, four hostages in a kosher supermarket and one policewoman, in the Paris attacks.

 

After learning of her alleged involvement, Mr Boumeddiene went to the police and was questioned but not arrested. Police have described Hayat, who met Coulibaly while she was working as a cashier, as “armed and dangerous” after she allegedly had combat training.

The French-Algerian father of seven, who works as a delivery driver, is said to be heartbroken by his daughter’s alleged involvement in the three-day siege – in which she was not present – that killed 17 people including cartoonists, police officers, journalists, magazine staff and hostages.

He is said by friends to have disconnected his phone, locked himself into his flat in the Parisian suburb of Villiers-sur-Marne and has been heard crying and saying “I don’t know if she is dead or alive,” the Daily Mail reported.

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Hayat Boumeddiene claimed to have crossbow training with Coulibaly

Hayat flew via Madrid to Istanbul five days before the attacks that occurred on 7 January and crossed over to Syria in reports by French police in the Libération newspaper and claims made by Turkey. She apparently had a return ticket for 9 January but did not use it.

Hayat was in regular phone contact with the wife of Cherif Kouachi, one of the brothers who shot 12 people dead at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices on Wednesday, Le Parisien reported.

However, a person using the name Maya that claims to be her friend from school told Le Parisien that she believes she is “incapable of organising such horrors” and fled to the Middle East for “shelter”. She described Hayat as “soft, sometimes like a little kid, cries often and has little confidence.”

Mr Boumeddiene’s wife died in 1994 and the youngest of the seven children, including Hayat, went into care while the eldest had left home as he struggled to raise them.

Hayat and Coulibaly were questioned in 2010 over their alleged role in the failed prison escape of Smaïn Ait Ali Belkacem, architect of the 1995 attacks on Paris’ suburban railway.

She had told police, according to The Telegraph: “I was placed in care at the age of 12, because I did not accept the speed with which my father remarried after the death of my mother. I changed carers numerous times because I was beaten often.”

After Hayat and her father had been estranged, they reconciled last year after he had picked her up from an airport in France on her return from pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Coulibaly and Hayat were married in a religious ceremony, that is not recognised legally, in 2009 before they lived together in Paris suburb Bagneux. Coulibaly returned to their home in May last year after a stint in prison.

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