ISTANBUL—On the CCTV footage released by Turkish police, the widow of one for the Islamic fanatics accountable for last week’s terror rampage in Paris comes across as prim, even drab, as she passes through passport control in the airport here.
Hayat Boumeddiene’s tightly drawn white headscarf and hooded coat is a cultural world out of the scanty bikini she was wearing in an image that showed her on a beach fondly clutching future assassin Amedy Coulibaly. The vacation snap was taken before 2009, when she started initially 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 commensurate 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 from the path of jihad and ended up gunning down four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris a week ago. In the caliphate associated with self-styled Islamic State, where, in accordance with Turkish authorities, Boumeddiene has found sanctuary also to whom Coulibaly apparently aligned himself, theft and drug use incur far worse punishments compared to those meted out by 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. A little less than his consort although Coulibaly, it seems, observed the conservative demands. During a 2010 interview with police investigators, Boumeddienne admitted Coulibaly “wasn’t that is really religious liked to “have fun.”
Some Westerners do indeed appear to have been devout before planing a trip 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 whatever else.
Even so, Melanie Smith, a researcher with all the International Centre for the analysis of Radicalization, has argued that numerous of the estimated 200 or so Western girls and women who have gone to Syria to join the militants “tend to be extremely pious and have been IS fan-girls for the duration of the Syrian conflict.”
Aqsa Mahmood, a 20-year-old who was simply raised in a well-heeled Glasgow suburb and attended an exclusive Scottish girls’ school, fits into that profile. She led an life that is orderly a teenager—wasn’t involved with boys, drugs or petty crimes. She seemed normal generally in most ways until she was lured and groomed online. And, in accordance with her parents, she became more “concerned and upset” by reports associated with Syrian conflict. “Aqsa, like many young adults in our community, was naturally angry and frustrated during 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 in order to become a jihadi bride.
Other recruits towards the jihadist cause, though, appear to have had a more “secular” glide path, swapping what they see once the rootlessness and chaos of their lives when it comes to false clarity and fake simplicity made available from al Qaeda or even the Islamic State (also well known as ISIS).
That appears to be more the real reason 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. She is thought to be staying in the city of Raqqa, the de facto capital in northern Syria associated with the Islamic State. In online exchanges with potential Western recruits, she claims to be enjoying the Sharia law that is strict of caliphate, from whence she tweets blood-chilling threats.
Her most vicious micro-missive was in the wake regarding the mass decapitations of 50 Syrian soldiers, by which she declared: “You Christians all need beheading with an excellent blunt knife and stuck in the railings at Raqqa. Come here I’ll do it for you!” She posts photos of herself posing with an AK-47 assault rifle and dressed up in black niqab, which takes care of all http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWV6p1LZG0U the face and the body except the eyes. She and Hussain—he’s 25 years her junior—are now married.
But back in the 1990s she was an associate of a smalltime girl punk rock band called Krunch and was then wielding a guitar as opposed to an rifle that is automatic.
She was at and out of relationships and jobs that are dead-end. One video clip shows her wearing a low-cut top and leather mini-skirt that is tight. 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 in it.
A purposeless, ungrounded life stands apart with Boumeddiene, too. Born in the Paris suburb of Villiers-sur-Marne, she spent my youth in a rundown the main town. Her mother was devout and died when Hayat was 6. Her father was struggling to cope after his wife’s death and Hayat plus some of her six siblings must be taken into foster care. Her father visited her rarely and then appears to have broken together with her after remarrying, although recently they truly are thought to have reconciled. In care, she had to be moved frequently 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 after which it all came down on the. He was the mastermind.”
Maybe so, maybe 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 this season, “It’s something which calms me down. I’ve had a difficult life and this religion has answered all my questions.”