Officials: Female Terror Suspect Wasn't in France for Paris Attacks
Intelligence officials in Turkey say that France's most wanted woman, Hayat Boumeddiene, flew to Istanbul just days before the Paris attacks and disappeared near the Syrian border.
Rick Leventhal appeared on "America's News Headquarters" this afternoon with the latest updates on the search for Boumeddiene.
Leventhal noted that French authorities were convinced that Boumeddiene was an accomplice to two terror attacks, the murder of a French policewoman on Thursday and Friday's siege of a kosher grocery store in Paris.
Boumeddiene's husband, Amedy Coulibaly, confessed to shooting the policewoman and was killed in a police raid on the grocery yesterday - after he killed four hostages.
Authorities originally said that Boumeddiene was with Coulibaly at the grocery store and was able to slip away in the confusion as the surviving hostages ran out.
"Now we're hearing that she may not have been here since New Year's Day," Leventhal said. "There are reports that she left France on New Year's Day, traveled to Spain and then flew from Madrid to Istanbul, Turkey, on Jan. 2."
Leventhal added that a Turkish intelligence official now seems to be confirming those reports to The Associated Press, saying that a woman with the name Hayat Boumeddiene, resembling her pictures, landed in Istanbul on Jan. 2, spent two nights there before traveling to a town near the Syrian border and then disappeared.
Leventhal said, if true, it's good news that an armed and dangerous terrorist is no longer on the loose in France, but it's an ongoing concern that more radical Islamists could be out looking for payback.
"Al Qaeda in Yemen, which inspired the attacks this week, has said that there will be more attacks here in France, so, of course, this country remains on its highest state of alert."
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