Hayat Boumeddiene (wife of jihadi gunman Amedy Coulibaly) Wiki – Hayat Boumeddiene Biography
France’s ‘most wanted woman’, whose husband killed five people as part of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on terrorism charges.
Hayat Boumeddiene, wife of armed jihadist Amedy Coulibaly, was among 14 convicted on Wednesday for joint attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket in January of that year.
Boumeddiene, an ISIS member who is presumed to be in Syria, was found guilty in absentia of financing terrorism and being a member of a criminal organization terrorist network.
The punishment means that if the 32-year-old returns to France one day, he will be immediately jailed.
Judge Régis de Jorna said after a three-month trial that ended Wednesday, Boumeddienne was guilty of ‘terrorist organization’ and ‘financing of terrorism’.
He said he would be in prison for 30 years, two-thirds in a high-security cell, which would likely mean solitary confinement.
“He couldn’t ignore that the money withdrawn from his bank account would be used to finance the terrorist attacks of her husband and the Kouachi brothers,” he said while fining.
France was subjected to joint terrorist attacks that began in January 2015 when brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi opened fire on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine and killed 12 people as ‘revenge’ for publishing the prophet Muhammad’s cartoons.
Twenty-four hours later, Coulibaly, who befriended the Kouachi brothers, launched his own attack targeting the Jewish community in Paris.
When Coulibaly failed to attack his planned target (a Jewish community center in the suburb of Montrouge), police shot and killed 26-year-old Clarissa Jean-Philippe.
He then raided a Kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, where he shot four more dead and took 20 hostages.
Coulibaly was later involved in an hour-long siege with the police, during which he demanded the release of the Kouachi brothers – who later hid in a printing workshop with their own hostages in Dammartin-en-Goële.
All three were ultimately killed by French commandos in nearly simultaneous raids.
The attack was first claimed by IS in Europe and marked the beginning of a wave of terrorist violence by the group in France and elsewhere.
A court heard that Boumeddiene had planned and financed the attack on Coulibaly, a murderous anti-Semite, by taking fraudulent loans.
He fled France two days before the attack started joining IS in Syria and is thought to have remarried afterwards.
The French widow of an ISIS fighter who witnessed the trial testified from prison that she had stumbled upon Boumeddiene in a prison camp last year.
Brothers Mohammed and Mehdi Belhoucine, who had also traveled to Syria with Boumeddiene, were also tried in absentia – but are widely thought to be dead.
The other 11 defendants, all male, are a circle of friends and prison acquaintances of three dead jihadists accused of facilitating their attacks.
Among those found guilty on Wednesday was Ali Rıza Polat, described as the ‘lynch’ of the conspiracy that helped the murderers obtain their weapons.
Polat caught coronavirus in the middle of the trial and was forced to be suspended for a month.
He also overturned the case with disrespectful explosions that scolded the judge. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Coulibaly’s former friends Amar Ramdani, Willy Prevost, and Nezar Pastor Alwatik, who were convicted of the ‘terrorist association’ and sentenced to between 13 and 20 years in prison, were also convicted.
Mohamed Belhoucine, thought to have died in Syria and was tried in his absence, was convicted of complicity and sentenced to life in prison, while his brother Mehdi Belhoucine was acquitted.
The other six people – Mohamed Fares, Saïd Makhlouf, Miguel Martinez, Abdelaziz Abbad, Michel Catino, and Metin Karawaters – were sentenced to four to seven years in prison for aiding crimes, but survived terrorism.
According to the video testimony of the forensic police, the researchers examined 37 million bits of phone data in total.
Behind the grandstands of the courtroom there were several men in handcuffs who were texting or meeting with Coulibaly in the days leading up to the attack.
They defined any contact as normal communication between acquaintances.
Among those who testified, the widows of the Kouachi brothers and a far-right sympathizer turned into a police informant who sold weapons to the attackers.
While Boumeddienne’s DNA is found in weapons hidden by Coulibaly, prosecutors say he made more than 500 phone calls to Cherif Kouachi’s home prior to the attacks.
In late 2015, he gave an interview to an ISIS propaganda organization: ‘Let France be cursed by God’, he said.
Two other key defendants in the were Mohamed and Mehdi Belhoucine – two brothers who left for the Iraqi-Syrian war zone shortly after the Hebdo attacks.
Both are presumed dead, but – like Boumeddienne – were tried in absentia for allegedly supplying weapons.
Both ISIS and Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the 2015 attacks, which were the beginning of a wave of terrorism across France.
The trial was presided over by five specialised terrorism magistrates, and the entire process was filmed so that a record could be placed in France’s National Archive.
Charlie Hebdo marked the opening of the trial by re-publishing cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed on its front page.
The verdict was put on hold due to the Cornavirus pandemic and was delivered against a backdrop of renewed attacks in France.
Three weeks into the trial, on September 25, a Pakistani Islamist armed with a butcher’s knife attacked two people outside the former Charlie Hebdo offices on Nicolas-Appert street, long-since vacated by the publication.
Six weeks into the trial, on October 16, a French schoolteacher who opened a debate on free speech by showing students the Muhammad caricatures was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee.
Eight weeks into the trial, on October 30, a young Tunisian armed with a knife and carrying a copy of the Quran attacked worshippers in a church in the southern city of Nice, killing three.
He had a photo of the Chechen on his phone and an audio message describing France as a ‘country of unbelievers.’