French Court Jails 13 Accomplices Over Charlie Hebdo Attack

File photo: French police and forensic officers inspect the scene of an attack after several people were injured near the former offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by a man wielding a knife in the capital Paris on September 25, 2020. Alain JOCARD / AFP

 

A Paris court on Wednesday handed jail terms ranging from four years to life to 13 accomplices convicted of helping Islamist gunmen who massacred cartoonists at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and customers at a Jewish supermarket in early 2015.

Ali Riza Polat, accused by prosecutors of being a right-hand man of one of the attackers, was convicted of complicity in terror crimes by the court and given a 30-year sentence.

The court gave the same term in absentia to Hayat Boumeddiene, the partner of one of the attackers. She fled to Syria in the wake of the killings.

A life jail sentence was given to another prime suspect, Mohamed Belhoucine, although he was also tried in absentia and is presumed to be dead in Syria.

A total of 14 suspected accomplices went on trial over the attacks, three of them in absentia.

All of those present in court were convicted for their role in providing support for the killings.

A 14th accused, Mehdi Belhoucine, the brother of Mohamed and also presumed dead, was not sentenced on Wednesday because the court considered him to have already been convicted at a separate trial in January.

Those on trial were accused of assisting brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and their accomplice, the supermarket hostage-taker Amedy Coulibaly.

All three attackers were killed by French security forces after the attacks.

– ‘Freedom has last word’ –
Seventeen people were killed over three days of attacks in January 2015, beginning with the massacre of 12 people at the magazine, which had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

That attack was followed by the murder of a French policewoman and the hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher market in which four Jewish men were killed.

Over three months long, the trial was repeatedly held up due to the Covid-19 pandemic but has again highlighted the horror of the attacks, during a period when France has faced new killings blamed on Islamist radicals.

Christophe Deloire, the head of press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said he welcomed the verdict.

File photo: French police and forensic officers inspect the scene of an attack after several people were injured near the former offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by a man wielding a knife in the capital Paris on September 25, 2020. Alain JOCARD / AFP

 

“It is proof that violent extremists don’t have the last word. Thanks to justice, it is freedom that has the last word,” he wrote on Twitter.

On the cover of its new issue to mark the verdicts, Charlie Hebdo in typically provocative style published a picture of God being led away in a police van with the title “God put in his place”.

“The cycle of violence, which had began in the offices of Charlie Hebdo, will finally be closed,” its editor-in-chief Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, who was badly injured in the attacks, wrote in an editorial.

“At least from the perspective of criminal law, because from a human one, the consequences will never be erased, as the testimony of the victims at the trial showed,” Riss added.

Riss acknowledged in his editorial that there had been “great difficulty” in establishing the criminal responsibility of the accused in the hearings, while adding the trial was “first and foremost that of this political terror which one calls Islamism”.

– ‘Deathly silence’ –
The Kouachi brothers claimed they were acting on behalf of Al-Qaeda, while Coulibaly had sworn loyalty to the Islamic State group.

Columnist Sigolene Vinson, who survived the Charlie Hebdo massacre, told the court of the “deathly silence” in the office as her colleagues lay dead all around her.

Former Hyper Cacher cashier Zarie Sibony described stepping over bodies in the aisles of the supermarket during Coulibaly’s four-hour standoff with police.

Those killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack included some of France’s most celebrated cartoonists such as Jean Cabut, known as Cabu, 76, Georges Wolinski, 80, and Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, 47.

To mark the start of the trial on September 2, Charlie Hebdo defiantly republished the cartoons of the prophet that had angered Muslims.

Three weeks later, a Pakistani man wounded two people outside the magazine’s former offices, hacking at them with a cleaver.

On October 16, a young Chechen refugee beheaded teacher Samuel Paty who had showed some of the caricatures to his pupils.

And on October 29, three people were killed when a young Tunisian recently arrived in Europe went on a stabbing spree in a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has introduced legislation to tackle radical Islamist activity in France, a bill that has stirred anger in some Muslim countries.

AFP

Prosecutors Seek Long Jail Terms For Charlie Hebdo Attack Suspects

Logo of a court gavel

 

Prosecutors on Tuesday sought stiff sentences from five years to life in jail for 14 suspected accomplices of the Islamist gunmen who murdered cartoonists and killed hostages at a Jewish supermarket in Paris in 2015.

Sixteen people were killed in the attack at Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, which had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and during a hostage-taking three days later.

One of the three assailants, all of whom were killed by police in shootouts, also shot dead a policewoman.

Those on trial since September are accused of providing varying degrees of logistical support to Charlie Hebdo killers Cherif and Said Kouachi and supermarket hostage-taker Amedy Coulibaly. They deny the charges.

Three of the fourteen suspects, who range in age from 29 to 68 and include Coulibaly’s girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene, are being tried in absentia.

Boumeddiene fled to Syria shortly after the attacks. Her whereabouts is not known.

Prosecutors sought a life term for Ali Riza Polat, a 35-year-old French-Turkish national, presented during the trial as Coulibaly’s “right-hand man” accused of helping him and the Kouachi brothers secure weapons.

Polat admitted to the court he had taken part in various “scams” but denied any knowledge of what Coulibaly, who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group, and his accomplices were planning.

Polat’s co-accused, including two men who spent time in jail alongside Coulibaly, also denied any hand in the attacks and rejected allegations of being radicalised.

The killing of the cartoonists caused deep shock in secular France, which has a tradition of anti-clerical satire.

The attacks marked the start of a long series of terror assaults in France, many of them carried out by young French devotees of Islamic State.

After the start of the trial, the cartoons were at the centre of another deadly attack in October, with a young Chechen refugee beheading teacher Samuel Paty for showing some of the caricatures to pupils in a class on free speech.

Charlie Hebdo Trial Suspended After Primary Suspect Tests Positive For COVID-19

French police and forensic officers inspect the scene of an attack after several people were injured near the former offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by a man wielding a knife in the capital Paris on September 25, 2020.  Alain JOCARD / AFP

 

The primary suspect in a trial over the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre has tested positive for coronavirus and the court has been suspended until Wednesday, lawyers said.

Ali Riza Polat is accused of having helped the killers of 12 people in the 2015 attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, a female police officer a day later and four hostages at a Jewish supermarket.

He is facing the most serious charge of the suspected accomplices on trial — complicity in terrorist crimes — and could face life in jail if convicted.

The 35-year-old vomited and was seen by a doctor, prompting the judge to suspend the court until next week.

The 10 accused accomplices must now be tested and “the resumption of the trial will depend on the results of these tests and the development of the health of the people concerned”, presiding judge Regis de Jorna said in an email to lawyers Saturday.

He urged everyone in court to observe social distancing, and insisted all participants must wear a mask.

The suspension of the hearing will delay the conclusion of the trial, which opened on September 2.

Defence lawyers were scheduled to plead on November 6, 9, 10 and 11 with the verdict expected on 13.

Fourteen people are on trial in the special terrorism court over their support for the jihadist trio who attacked in January 2015. All of the attackers were shot dead by police.

Described as the “right arm” of attacker Amedy Coulibaly, Polat was born in Istanbul but moved to France when he was three and like Coulibaly grew up in the city of Grande Borne in Grigny, in the suburbs of Paris.

France returned to lockdown on Friday after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, in the latest measure to curb a disease that has infected more than 44.5 million people worldwide and killed nearly 1.2 million.

AFP

Iran’s Khamenei Says Mohammed Cartoons ‘Unforgivable’

A handout picture released by the official website of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him during a meeting with school and university students in the capital Tehran on November 3, 2019. Iran’s supreme leader again ruled out negotiations with Washington, a day before the 40th anniversary of the hostage crisis at the former US embassy in Tehran.
IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER’S WEBSITE / AFP

 

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Tuesday that cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that were republished by a French satirical magazine last week were “unforgivable”.

“The grave and unforgivable sin committed by a French weekly in insulting the luminous and holy personality of (the) Prophet revealed, once more, the hostility and malicious grudge harboured by political and cultural organisations in the West against Islam and the Muslim community,” Khamenei said in an English-language statement.

“The excuse of ‘freedom of expression’ made by some French politicians in order not to condemn this grave crime of insulting the Holy Prophet of Islam is completely unacceptable, wrong, and demagogic.”

During a visit to Beirut last week, French President Emmanuel Macron said Charlie Hebdo had broken no law in republishing the cartoons to mark the September 2 opening of the trial into a deadly 2015 attack on its offices by Islamist extremists.

“There is… in France a freedom to blaspheme that is linked to freedom of conscience,” Macron said.

“It is my job to protect all these freedoms.”

Twelve people, including some of France’s most celebrated cartoonists, were killed on January 7, 2015, when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi went on a gun rampage at the magazine’s Paris offices.

The perpetrators were killed in the aftermath of the massacre but 14 alleged accomplices in the attacks, which also targeted a Jewish supermarket, went on trial.

Despite its outrage at the cartoons, Iran condemned the attack on the paper’s offices.

 

Supporters of hardline Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan carry placards and shout slogans during a protest against the reprinting cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad by French magazine Charlie Hebdo, in Rawalpindi on September 4, 2020. – Satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the target of a massacre by Islamist gunmen in 2015, reprinted the controversial caricatures this week to mark the start of the trial of the alleged accomplices in the attack. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

 

-AFP

Trial Opens Over Charlie Hebdo Terror Attacks That Stunned France

Police officers patrol outside Paris’ courthouse, on September 2, 2020, on the opening day of the trial of 14 suspected accomplices in Charlie Hebdo jihadist killings. – Fourteen people accused of helping jihadist gunmen attack the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket go on trial, five years after days of terror that sent shockwaves through France. Thomas COEX / AFP.

 

Fourteen people accused of helping jihadist gunmen storm the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket went on trial Wednesday, five years after three days of terror sent shock waves through France.

The events that began on January 7, 2015 sparked a series of attacks on French soil, including “lone wolf” killings by people said to be inspired by the Islamic State group that have since claimed more than 250 lives.

Hearings began under heavy security as eleven of the suspects appeared in the courtroom, facing charges of conspiracy in a terrorist act or association with a terror group.

Three others, including the wife of one of the gunmen, fled to IS-held territory in Syria days before the attacks and are being tried in absentia.

Charlie Hebdo, whose taboo-shattering style makes it a beacon of free speech for many, marked the trial’s opening by republishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that had angered Muslims around the world.

“That’s the essence of the Charlie Hebdo spirit: It’s refusing to give up our freedoms, our laughter, and even our blasphemy,” the paper’s lawyer, Richard Malka, said before entering the courtroom.

“Don’t be afraid, neither of terrorism, nor of freedom.”

Some 150 experts and witnesses will be heard over the next two and a half months in the trial that will revisit one of the most painful chapters in France’s modern history.

The three assailants were killed by police, but any suggestion that those on trial were only minor players has been rubbished by prosecutors and relatives of the victims.

“These people aren’t lackeys,” said Patrick Klugman, a lawyer for one of the victims, insisting the suspects shared a deep-seated anti-Semitism.

– ‘Just so unfair’ –

Twelve people, including some of France’s most celebrated cartoonists, were gunned down on January 7, 2015, when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the paper’s offices in eastern Paris.

A day later, Amedy Coulibaly, who became close to Cherif Kouachi while they were in prison, killed a 27-year-old police officer, Clarissa Jean-Philippe, during a traffic check in Montrouge, outside Paris.

“I just want to know why my daughter was killed. It’s just so unfair,” Clarissa’s mother Marie-Louisa Jean-Philippe, who will testify at the trial, told French daily Liberation on Wednesday.

Coulibaly went on to kill four men, all Jews, during a hostage-taking at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris on January 9. He recorded a video saying the three attacks were coordinated and carried out in the name of the Islamic State jihadist group.

Coulibaly was killed when police stormed the supermarket. The Kouachi brothers were killed when officers carried out a nearly simultaneous operation at the printing shop where they were holed up northeast of Paris.

– Weapons and ideology –

The trial was originally set for last spring but was delayed by the coronavirus crisis that shut down most French courthouses.

Of the 14 suspects, three escaped arrest: Hayat Boumedienne, Coulibaly’s girlfriend, and two brothers, Mohamed and Mehdi Belhoucine, all of whom fled for IS-controlled areas in Syria just days before the attacks.

The Belhoucine brothers were reportedly killed while fighting alongside IS, while French officials suspect Boumedienne is on the run in Syria. Arrest warrants remain outstanding for all three.

Mohamed Belhoucine and Ali Riza Polat, a French citizen of Turkish origin, face the most serious charges of complicity in a terrorist act, which carry a maximum sentence of life in jail.

The former is thought to have become the ideological mentor of Coulibaly after meeting him in jail, opening up channels of communication for him to IS.

Polat, seen as close to Coulibaly, is suspected of playing a central role in preparing the attacks, notably by helping to build up the arsenal of weapons used.

Given its historical importance, the trial at the Paris courthouse will be filmed for France’s official archives, a first for a terror trial. It is scheduled to run until November 10.

AFP

France Marks Three Years Since Charlie Hebdo Attack

French President Emmanuel Macron observes a minute of silence in front of the plaque commemorating late police officer Ahmed Merabet to mark the third anniversary of the attack, in Paris, on January 7, 2018. PHOTO: Christophe Ena / POOL / AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron laid a wreath in front of the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Sunday to mark three years since the massacre of its staff in an Islamist attack.

At a low-key ceremony, in line with requests from the families of the victims for a sober commemoration, Macron was joined by journalists from the magazine, members of his government and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

Two French jihadists who had sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda killed 11 people at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in 2015 over the staunchly atheist magazine’s satirical coverage of Islam and the prophet Mohammed.

The assault, which saw a policeman executed at pointblank range nearby, profoundly shocked France.

It also marked the beginning of a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed 241 lives in total according to an AFP toll.

Charlie Hebdo, which prides itself on being provocative, returned to the murder of its famed cartoonists and writers in its latest issue.

“The 7th of January 2015 propelled us into a new world of armed police, secure entrances and reinforced doors, of fear and death,” wrote contributor Fabrice Nicolino in a column last week.

“And this in the heart of Paris and in conditions which do not honour the French republic. Do we still have a laugh? Yes,” he added.

The magazine pays between 1.0-1.5 million euros (1.2-1.8 million dollars) in security costs annually to protect its offices which are at a secret location, its editor Riss wrote.

Sales meanwhile have fallen sharply since a wave of popular support following the bloodshed.

Company revenues fell to 19.4 million euros in 2016, down from more than 60 million in 2015, according to figures first reported by the BFM news channel and confirmed to AFP by the magazine.

Its journalists and editors still regularly receive death threats and the magazine courted fresh controversy in November with a front-page on the Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan who has been accused of sexually assaulting women.

The Swiss academic, who is widely read and followed in France, was depicted with a huge erection above the line: “I am the sixth pillar of Islam.”

The magazine also regularly mocks Christian and Jewish leaders as well as politicians of all stripes.

Two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack, another French extremist took hostages at a Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris, killing five people before elite police raided the premises and shot him dead.

Anti-terror magistrates investigating the incidents are expected to finalise their probe in the next few months but have been unable to determine how the Charlie Hebdo killers — Cherif and Said Kouchi — coordinated with the supermarket shooter, Amedy Coulibaly.

They have also failed to track the source of the automatic weapons used by the Kouchi brothers for their killing spree.

AFP

Death Toll In Paris Attacks Rises To 129

paris attacksThe number of persons killed in Friday night’s attacks in Paris has risen to 129, Paris prosecutor says.

Eighty persons were reported dead after gunmen burst into the Bataclan Concert Hall and took dozens hostage on Friday night.

But on Saturday, the number of dead persons increased to 129 while at least 352 persons were injured.

At a news conference, Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins, said 99 people are still in critical conditions. He also mentioned that in one of the attacks, gunmen used a black Seat vehicle.

According to him, “three co-ordinated teams” appear to have been behind Friday’s attacks.

“We have to find who these people are, who their accomplices are, who ordered this, where they come from, how they were financed,” Molins stressed.

“A Horror”

The siege to Bataclan Concert Hall ended when security forces stormed the building.

French President, Francois Hollande, visibly shaken, called Friday night’s events “a horror” and vowed to wage a “merciless” fight against terrorism.

Paris saw three days of attacks in early January, when Islamist gunmen murdered 18 people after attacking satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, a Jewish supermarket and a policewoman on patrol.

The attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan hall was by far the deadliest of Friday night’s attacks. Gunmen opened fire on concert-goers watching US rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The event had been sold out.

Within an hour, security forces had stormed the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead; three had blown themselves up and a fourth was shot dead by police.

People were also shot dead at bars and restaurants at five other sites in Paris.

Police believed all of the gunmen were dead, but it is unclear if any accomplices are still on the run after the string of near-simultaneous attacks.

Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors while about 1,500 military personnel had been deployed across the city.

Also, the government had declared a national state of emergency and nonetheless, tightened its borders.

Texas Police Kill Two Gunmen At US Cartoon Conference

Texas
Reuters/Mike Stone

Texas police have shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that was organized by an anti-Islamic group and billed as a free-speech event.

The shooting in a Dallas suburb was an echo of past attacks or threats in other Western countries against art depicting the Prophet Mohammad. In January, gunmen killed 12 people in the Paris offices of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in revenge for its cartoons.

Sunday’s attack took place at about 7 p.m. in a parking lot of the Curtis Culwell Center, an indoor arena in Garland, northeast of Dallas. Geert Wilders, a polarizing Dutch politician and anti-Islamic campaigner who is on an al Qaeda hit list, was among the speakers at the event.

Police said they had not determined the identity of the two gunmen or whether they were linked to critics of the event who had branded it anti-Islamic.

As a precaution, a police bomb squad was checking the suspects’ car, and the immediate vicinity of the Culwell Center was evacuated, city police spokesman, Joe Harn said.

Investigators were keeping their distance from the bodies of the gunmen, which were close to the car, until the vehicle was deemed clear of explosives, he said later.

Shortly before midnight police alerted media that a strong electronic pulse would be activated near the scene, presumably as part of the bomb squad’s work, and a loud boom was heard moments later, though police did not comment further on what was done.

The exhibit was organized by Pamela Geller, President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Her organization, which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, has sponsored anti-Islamic advertising campaigns in transit systems across the country.

Organizers of the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” said that the event was to promote freedom of expression. They offered a $10,000 prize for the best artwork or cartoon depicting the Prophet, as well as a $2,500 “People’s Choice Award.”

Depictions of the Prophet Mohammad are viewed as offensive in Islam, and Western art that portrays the Prophet has sometimes angered Muslims and provoked threats and attacks from radicals.

Al Qaeda In Yemen Claims Responsibility For Charlie Hebdo Attack

File photo of a policeman standing guard outside the French satirical weekly "Charlie Hebdo" in ParisAl Qaeda in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, saying it was ordered by the Islamist militant group’s leadership for insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the branch is known, appeared in an 11-minute video posted on YouTube on Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in “vengeance for the prophet”.

“As for the blessed Battle of Paris, we, the Organisation of al Qaeda al Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula, claim responsibility for this operation as vengeance for the Messenger of God,” said Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, a leader of the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda (AQAP) in the recording.

He added that the strike was carried out in “implementation” of the order of overall al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, who has called for strikes by Muslims in the West using any means they can find.

AQAP was formed in January 2009 as a merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of Al-Qaeda. Washington regards it as the network’s most dangerous branch and has carried out a sustained drone war against its leaders.

“The leadership of (AQAP) was the party that chose the target and plotted and financed the plan… It was following orders by our general chief Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Ansi said.

“The heroes were chosen and they answered the call,” he said

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the recording, which carried the logo of the al Qaeda’s media group al-Malahem.

The first edition of Charlie Hebdo published after last week’s attacks sold out within minutes at newspaper kiosks around France on Wednesday, with people queuing up to buy copies to support the satirical weekly.

The new issue features another cartoon of Prophet Muhammad on its cover, with tears in his eyes, holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign under the headline “All is forgiven”.

AQAP has a record of launching attacks far from its base in Yemen, including a bid to blow up a US airliner over Michigan on Christmas Day in 2009.

The group recently called for its supporters to carry out attacks in France, which is part of a US-led coalition conducting air strikes against fighters from the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Charlie Hebdo First Cover Since Terror Attack Shows Prophet Muhammad

charlie-hebdoThe front cover of Wednesday’s edition of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the first since last week’s attack on its Paris offices that left 12 people dead, is a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.

The cover shows the prophet shedding a tear and holding up a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” in sympathy with the dead journalists. The headline says “All is forgiven”.

Richard Malka was among the first to call for the magazine to continue functioning after nine of its contributors, including famed cartoonists Cabu and Wolinski and its publishing director, Charb, were gunned down last Wednesday by Chérif and Saïd Kouachi

When asked whether that meant more cartoons of Mohammed, which have been a regular feature in the magazine until last Wednesday’s attack, he replied: “Naturally.”

“We will not give in otherwise all this won’t have meant anything,” he told France Info radio on Monday, which broadcast from the magazine’s heavily guarded temporary offices at Libération newspaper.

“Humour without self-deprecation isn’t humour. We mock ourselves, politicians, religions, it’s a state of mind you need to have.”

“The Charlie state of mind is the right to blaspheme,” he went on.

The edition will appear on Wednesday in 16 languages, including Arabic, and will be sold in 25 countries.

Liberation published the Charlie Hebdo cover online late on Monday night, showing a man in a white turban holding a sign reading “Je suis Charlie.”

Charlie Hebdo’s past caricatures of the prophet appear to have prompted last week’s attacks, which left a total of 17 people dead.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, told the Today programme that Charlie Hebdo had no choice but to print the cover it had.

“You cannot have a march through the streets of Paris attended by 46 world leaders, 4 million people, climaxing with a shout of ‘We are not afraid’ and then not print the central object of contention,” he said. “Of course they are right to do that and I am afraid it is absolutely vital now that everybody stands up and defends their right to publish. You may not agree with what they have done, you may be offended by what they have done, but you should defend their right to publish it.”

Thousands of people showed their solidarity waving flags of France as well as several other countries, throughout the march which kicked off at central Place de la Republique.

Meanwhile, the partner of one of the slain attackers behind the three-day killing spree in Paris crossed into Syria last week, according to the Turkish foreign minister.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, had crossed into Syria on January 8, the same day that her partner Coulibaly is suspected of killing a policewoman outside Paris on the second day of the attacks.

Hollande, World Leaders March Against Extremism

World leadersFrench President, Francois Hollande, flanked by other French and world leaders, on Sunday led thousands of citizens on a solidarity march in honour of the victims who died in terror attacks on Paris.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mali’s President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, European Council President, Donald Tusk, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi and Switzerland’s President Simonetta Sommaruga who were all at the forefront of the procession linked arms as they marched.

Commentators said the last time a huge crowd of such size filled the streets of the capital was at the Liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany in 1944.

Tight security measures were in place with some 2,200 police and soldiers on patrol in Paris to protect marchers from would-be attackers, with police snipers on rooftops and plain-clothes detectives mingling with the crowd.

Thousands of people showed their solidarity waving flags of France as well as several other countries, throughout the march which kicked off at central Place de la Republique.

After world leaders left the march, Hollande stayed to greet survivors of the Charlie Hebdo attack and their families, while hundreds of thousands of people marched slowly and in near-total silence through Paris streets.

More Troops Deployed In Paris As Hunt For Terror Accomplice Continues

Hayat
Hayat Boumeddiene

The French government has deployed 500 more troops in Paris, to tighten security in the area, following three days of terror which led to the death of 17 people.

According to the Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, the government was taking all necessary measures to protect the country, even as thousands have taken to the streets, in silent marches, to remember the victims.

Also, Police in France are hunting for any accomplices of three gunmen killed by police on Friday after two sieges.

However, President Francois Hollande has warned that danger is not over yet, as the search continues for Hayat Boumeddiene, who was said to be with one of the attackers when a policewoman was killed in Paris on Thursday.

She has been described as “armed and dangerous”.

“We have to be vigilant. I also ask you to be united – it’s our best weapon,” said Mr Hollande in a televised address on Friday night.

Also, France’s chief prosecutor, Francois Molins, has said that 16 people had been detained for questioning, including the wife of one of the Kouachi brothers, who attacked the Charlie Hebdo company.