ISTANBUL—On the CCTV footage released by Turkish police, the widow of one regarding the Islamic fanatics accountable for last week’s terror rampage in Paris comes across as prim, even drab, as she passes through passport control during the airport here.
Hayat Boumeddiene’s tightly drawn white headscarf and hooded coat is a cultural world 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 started to cover herself up with scarves and veils.
The 26-year-old looks giddily in love cuddling Coulibaly—a display of public affection hardly consistent with the puritanical strictures of Salafi jihadis.
Her now-dead partner also used 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 in the path of jihad and finished up gunning down four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris week that is last. In the caliphate for the self-styled Islamic State, where, based on 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 just 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 number of the devotion that is frantic the ring of hollow religiosity, ritual without content, more cult-like than anything else.
Even so, Melanie Smith, a researcher with the International Centre for the analysis of Radicalization, has argued that many of the estimated 200 or more Western girls and women who have gone to Syria to participate the militants “tend to be extremely pious and also been IS fan-girls for the duration of the Syrian conflict.”
Aqsa Mahmood, a 20-year-old who was simply raised in a Glasgow that is well-heeled suburb attended a special 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 groomed and lured online. And, www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWV6p1LZG0U safe in accordance with her parents, she became more “concerned and upset” by reports of this conflict that is syrian. “Aqsa, like many young adults inside 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 to become a jihadi bride.
Other recruits to the jihadist cause, though, appear to have experienced a more that is“secular path, swapping what they see because the rootlessness and chaos of the lives for the false clarity and fake simplicity offered by al Qaeda or perhaps the Islamic State (also widely known as ISIS).
That appears to be more the real reason for the recruitment of Britain’s Sally Jones—an even 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 from the rural county of Kent in southeast England, sneaked into Syria in late 2013 after an online romance with Junaid Hussain, a new hacker-turned-militant through the English city of Birmingham. She is regarded as located in the city of Raqqa, the de capital that is facto northern Syria regarding the Islamic State. In online exchanges with potential Western recruits, she claims to be enjoying the strict Sharia law of the caliphate, from whence she tweets blood-chilling threats.
Her most vicious micro-missive was into the wake of the mass decapitations of 50 Syrian soldiers, for which she declared: “You Christians all need beheading with a good blunt knife and stuck on 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 covers all of the face and body except the eyes. She and Hussain—he’s 25 years her junior—are now married.
She was at and out of relationships and jobs that are dead-end. One online video shows her wearing a low-cut top and tight leather mini-skirt. Neighbors within 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 out with Boumeddiene, too. Born within the Paris suburb of Villiers-sur-Marne, she was raised in a rundown the main town. Her mother was devout and died when Hayat was 6. Her father was unable 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 after which seems to have broken with her after remarrying, although recently they’ve been said to have reconciled. In care, she needed to be moved frequently between foster homes because she proved troublesome and violent. She met Coulibaly in Juvisy-sur-Orge, southeast of Paris, while working as a cashier, a job she later lost due to her insistence on wearing the niqab.
One neighbor told French media that Coulibaly was the force that is driving their partnership: “She left here with that man. He did everything after which it all came down on her. He had been 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 this year, “It’s something that calms me down. I’ve had a life that is difficult this religion has answered all my questions.”