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Profile: the most wanted woman in France

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Profile: the most wanted woman in France
Left: police mugshot of Hayat Boumeddiene. Right: photo of Amedy Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddiene.
11:30 CET+01:00
Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, suspected of involvement in this week’s shooting of a policewoman in Montrouge and the siege at a kosher supermarket, had still not been found on Saturday. She has been linked to a disciple of London cleric Abu Hamza.

According to reports, Boumeddiene is the only named suspect alleged to be involved in this week's shootings yet to be accounted for.

Her current whereabouts are unknown, but police say she should be treated as “armed and dangerous”. Media including TV station Europe1, quoting sources close to the investigation, say she was not among the dead or injured. A police union spokesman told CNN that she may have escaped from the kosher supermarket in the confusion following the end of the siege.

The girlfriend of dead gunman Amedy Coulibaly, she was brought up in Villiers-sur-Marne in the eastern suburbs of Paris, one of seven children. Her mother died when she was six. Her father Mohamed, a delivery man, was unable to cope and she was taken into care when she was 8 or 9, according to le Parisien.

She married Amedy Coulibaly in religious ceremony in 2009, but they were never legally wed.

In May 2009, she started wearing a full veil, something which forced her to give up her job as a check-out assistant, according to several sources.

In 2010 the couple were spotted by intelligence services visiting al-Qaeda terrorist Djamel Beghal in Cantal, southern France, a disciple of radical London-based cleric Abu Hamza. She later told police that she was there for “crossbow practice”.

A photograph has emerged of a woman, said to be her, wearing a full body veil and carrying a crossbow.

Suspected terrorist Boumeddiene

A photo believed to depict Boumeddiene

Later that year she was living with Coulibaly in the Paris suburb of Bagneux when he was arrested for a plot to break terrorist Smaïn Aït Ali Belkacem out of jail.

When interviewed by police following Coulibaly’s arrest, she made no secret of her extremist sympathies, and refused to condemn al Qaeda. She also told them she planned an extended visit to an Arab country “to learn literary Arabic,” according to le Nouvel Observateur.

She re-established contact with her father a year ago before she and Coulibaly made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and fetched them from the airport when they returned. That was the last time he heard from her.

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