France on Monday ordered 10,000 troops into the streets to protect sensitive sites after three days of bloodshed and terror, as police revealed that as many as six members of a Paris-based militant cell with links to the attacks may still be at large.
One of the six wanted by police has been spotted driving a car registered to the widow of one of the slain attackers. Two French police officials told The Associated Press that authorities are searching the Paris area for the Mini Cooper car registered to the widow, Hayat Boumeddiene.
Boumeddiene, 26, is believed to have left France for Syria before the attacks that claimed the lives of 17 victims and three gunmen. The domestic search for other accomplices is in full swing, French officials said.
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Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after a cabinet meeting on Monday that the search is urgent because “the threat is still present” after the attacks that began Wednesday with a massacre on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and ended when the three attackers were killed Friday in nearly simultaneous raids by security forces.
“The work on these attacks, on these terrorist and barbaric acts continues … because we consider that there are most probably some possible accomplices,” Valls told BFM television.
Meanwhile, France’s defence minister said Monday the country is mobilizing 10,000 troops to protect the population. Jean-Yves Le Drian said the deployment will be fully in place by Tuesday, and will focus on the most sensitive locations.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 4,700 security forces would be assigned to protect France’s 717 Jewish schools. Fears among many Jewish communities in Europe shaken by a sense of rising anti-Semitism have deepened in the wake of last week’s attacks and similar incidents in neighbouring countries that have specifically targeted Jews.
Israeli leaders have stepped up calls for European Jews to immigrate to the Jewish state.
Many French Jews already are. Last year, 7,000 emigrated to Israel. That was double the previous year, making France, for the first time, the number one source of immigration to Israel, according to the Jewish Agency, a nonprofit group.
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In another security initiative, Cazeneuve said European interior ministers had agreed to boost co-operation to thwart further militant attacks.
He called for the creation of a European database of airplane passenger names and said Europe should fight against abusive use of the Internet to spread hate speech.
Boumedienne crossed into Syria on Thursday, the day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and the same day her husband shot a policewoman to death on the outskirts of Paris, according to Turkey’s foreign minister.
Attacker’s widow still on the run
Mevlut Cavusoglu told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Monday that Boumedienne arrived in Turkey from Madrid on Jan. 2, ahead of the attacks and stayed at a hotel in Istanbul with another person before crossing into Syria on Thursday.
Footage from security cameras posted on the HaberTurk news website showed a woman it identified as Boumeddiene walking with a man to passport control at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport after flying in from Madrid.
The woman is seen briefly conversing with a Turkish immigration officer before the undated footage ends.
Video emerged on Sunday of her husband, Amedy Coulibaly, explaining how the attacks would unfold. Police want to find the person who shot and posted the video, which was allegedly edited after the attacks were over.
In the video, Coulibaly pledges allegiance to ISIS. Survivors say the Charlie Hebdo attackers, brothers from Paris, claimed they were from al-Qaeda in Yemen, the group the U.S. considers the most dangerous offshoot of that network.
Ties among the men date back to at least 2005, when Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi were jailed together. It later emerged that Cherif’s older brother, Said, fought with or was trained by al-Qaeda in Yemen; Cherif, was convicted in 2008 along with several others in a network that sent jihadists to fight American forces in Iraq.
Yemeni reporter Mohammed al-Kibsi said he met one of the gunmen responsible for last week’s massacre in 2010, saying that the man claimed to have lived with the Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to carry out the failed al-Qaeda “underwear bomb” plot five years ago.
Police release raid videos
French police have released videos of their operations around two sieges on Friday after the attacks by the Islamic militants.
The videos were issued by the Interior Ministry on Sunday in what French media said was an unusual move.
The videos show the prelude to the raid in Dammartin en Goele and footage of hostages released from the second siege at the kosher supermarket in Paris.
On mobile? Watch the video here
In the Paris footage, police from the Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) are seen hurrying hostages from the supermarket after the police blew up the shop entrance and stormed in to tackle Coulibaly, who had killed four hostages.