French police are looking for at least one confirmed accomplice of the Islamic terrorist who murdered four people in a kosher supermarket last Friday after security officials concluded that Amedy Coulibaly was working with at least one other.
They are also searching for the car registered to his wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, who has thought to have fled to join IS fighters in Syria.
She was seen clearing security at Istanbul airport after boarding a flight from Madrid and is thought to have stayed in a hotel in the Kadiköy region before heading for the Syrian border, the Independent reports.
But French police have said that the number could be larger, with up to six members of a terror cell at large including the man seen driving Boumeddiene’s Mini Cooper.
In an interview, a friend of the young woman said she was always aware of the plans to murder innocent shoppers and those of the Kouachi brothers.
“She was so close to Amedy, he has always kept abreast of their projects. They were everything to each other,” she said.
But the friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she did not think “for a moment” that Hayat would have taken part in the killings. “I think they all agreed that she would leave to take shelter in Syria,” she said.
The Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, said that the “threat is still present” as a further 10,000 troops will be deployed to protect possible targets around France. Almost 5,000 police officers will guard the 717 Jewish schools and synagogues in the country.
Before he was shot, Amedy Coulibaly said he had planned his attacks in “synchronisation” with the two men who stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, killing journalists and cartoonists as well as a policeman sent to the scene. Coulibaly later shot a young policewoman in a Southern district of Paris before taking hostages in the supermarket where he is known to have shot one woman who tried to take his firearm off him.
Authorities initially thought that Coulibaly’s wife may have been his accomplice, but footage of her in the Turkish capital has raised fears that another assisted him, and that accomplice remains at large.
More than five million people are estimated to have taken part in rallies across the country, including Paris and more than 50 towns. Other countries, including the UK, joined in solidarity with the French people as 40 dignitaries joined in the vigil in Paris. London landmarks were lit up in the colours of the Tricolour including Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.
But one notorious anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’bala who took part in the marches has caused controversy with his facebook posting after the event, saying:
“After this historic, no legendary, march, a magic moment equal to the Big Bang which created the Universe, or in a smaller way comparable to the crowning of [the ancient Gaulish king] Vercingétorix, I am going home. Let me say that… as far as I am concerned, I feel I am Charlie Coulibaly.”
He faces possible prosecution for “justifying terrorist acts” after he appeared to declare his admiration for Coulibaly. But he defended his words, saying that he intended his meaning to be that he was also a martyr for freedom of speech, like Charlie Hebdo.
“I am considered like an Amedy Coulibaly when I am… just the same as Charlie,” he said.