The widow of one of the Islamic fanatics responsible for last week’s terror rampage in Paris comes across as prim, even drab, as she goes through passport control at the airport here ISTANBUL—On the CCTV footage released by Turkish police.
Hayat Boumeddiene’s tightly drawn white headscarf and hooded coat is a cultural world away from the scanty bikini she was wearing in an image that showed her on a beach fondly clutching future assassin Amedy Coulibaly. The break snap was taken before 2009, when she began to cover herself up with scarves and veils.
The transfer is startling from sun-worshipper and eager holidaymaker to your buttoned-up moll of an assassin that is islamic.
The 26-year-old looks giddily in love cuddling Coulibaly—a display of public affection hardly in keeping with the puritanical strictures of Salafi jihadis.
Her partner that is now-dead also to pursue a lifestyle that clashed with the teachings of Islamic militants. Neither were paragons of religious rectitude. French police arrested Coulibaly on a string of theft and drug offenses before he embarked on the path of jihad and finished up gunning down four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris week that is last. When you look at the caliphate regarding the Islamic that is self-styled State where, according to Turkish authorities, Boumeddiene has found sanctuary and to whom Coulibaly apparently aligned himself, theft and drug use incur far worse punishments compared to those meted out because of the unenlightened West—including flogging, amputation, and execution.
Then again Boumeddiene and Coulibaly aren’t unique in having exited rowdy alternative lifestyles totally at variance with Islamic puritanism, embracing instead the simplicity of jihad. Although Coulibaly, it seems, observed the conservative demands only a little lower than his consort. During a 2010 interview with police investigators, Boumeddienne admitted Coulibaly “wasn’t that is really religious liked to “have fun.”
Some Westerners do indeed seem to have been devout before traveling to Syria or aligning themselves with jihadis—although how knowledgeable the ones that are really young the obviously disturbed are about their religion remains questionable. A few of the devotion that is frantic the ring of hollow religiosity, ritual without content, more cult-like than other things.
Even so, Melanie Smith, a researcher using the International Centre for the research of Radicalization, has argued that many of the estimated 200 or so Western girls and asian wife ladies who have gone to Syria to participate the militants “tend to be extremely pious and have been IS fan-girls through the duration of the Syrian conflict.”
Aqsa Mahmood, a 20-year-old who was simply raised in a well-heeled Glasgow suburb and attended a special Scottish girls’ school, fits into that profile. She led an life that is orderly a teenager—wasn’t involved in boys, drugs or petty crimes. She seemed normal generally in most ways until she was groomed and lured online. And, in accordance with her parents, she became more “concerned and upset” by reports associated with the conflict that is syrian. “Aqsa, like many young people in our community, was naturally angry and frustrated at the loss in innocent life in the centre East,” the parents said at a press conference last summer after their daughter ran off to Syria to become a jihadi bride.
Other recruits to the jihadist cause, though, appear to have had a more that is“secular path, swapping whatever they see once the rootlessness and chaos of these lives for the false clarity and fake simplicity provided by al Qaeda or even the Islamic State (also well regarded as ISIS).
That appears to be more the explanation for the recruitment of Britain’s Sally Jones—an much more Salafi that is unlikely candidate the bikini-wearing Boumeddiene. Jones was 45 yrs old when recruited and wasn’t even born into a Muslim or a minority family that is immigrant.
Now calling herself Sakinah Hussain or Umm Hussain al-Britani, Jones, a mom-of-two through the rural county of Kent in southeast England, sneaked into Syria in late 2013 after an online romance with Junaid Hussain, a young hacker-turned-militant from the English city of Birmingham. This woman is regarded as staying in the town of Raqqa, the de facto capital in northern Syria of the Islamic State. In online exchanges with potential Western recruits, she claims to be enjoying the strict Sharia law of this caliphate, from whence she tweets blood-chilling threats.
Her most vicious micro-missive was into the wake regarding the mass decapitations of 50 Syrian soldiers, for which she declared: “You Christians all need beheading with a good blunt knife and stuck regarding the railings at Raqqa. Come here I’ll do it for you personally!” She posts photos of herself posing with an assault that is AK-47 and dressed up in black niqab, which takes care of all of the face and the body except the eyes. She and Hussain—he’s 25 years her junior—are now married.
But back within the 1990s she was a part of a smalltime girl punk rock band called Krunch and ended up being wielding a guitar in place of an automatic rifle.
She was in and away from relationships and jobs that are dead-end. One video clip shows her wearing a low-cut top and tight leather mini-skirt. Neighbors in the town of Chatham have described her to British tabloids as a “nightmare”—an aggressive, anarchic woman who dabbled in witchcraft and drugs and threatened to place spells to them.
A purposeless, ungrounded life stands apart with Boumeddiene, too. Born within the Paris suburb of Villiers-sur-Marne, she spent my youth in a rundown part of the town. Her mother was devout and died when Hayat was 6. Her father was not able to cope after his wife’s death and Hayat and some of her six siblings needed to be taken into foster care. Her father visited her rarely after which seems to have broken along with her after remarrying, although recently they are thought to have reconciled. In care, she needed to frequently be moved between foster homes because she proved troublesome and violent. She met Coulibaly in Juvisy-sur-Orge, southeast of Paris, while being employed as a cashier, a working job she later lost because of her insistence on wearing the niqab.
One neighbor told French media that Coulibaly was the driving force in their partnership: “She left here with that man. He did everything and then it all came down on her behalf. He was the mastermind.”
Maybe so, perhaps not. The masterminds that are real to be their jihadi mentors, who knew simple tips to channel the purposelessness and direct the anger. Of her religion, she told detectives in 2010, “It’s something which calms me down. I’ve had a life that is difficult this religion has answered all my questions.”