France was on high alert on Saturday as the manhunt continued for a woman suspected of helping three terrorists behind a string of attacks and hostage sieges this week that left 17 dead.
The lone remaining suspect in connection with the spree of terrorism and the attack on Charlie Hebdo — Hayat Boumeddiene — is known to have entered Turkey on January 2. Turkish police believe she left for Turkey with a goal of reaching Syria. If this information is accurate, it means she was not in France at the time of Thursday’s shooting of a policewoman in Paris, according to CNN.
Boumeddiene, 26, is the girlfriend of Coulibaly, the terror suspect believed to have been the gunman who killed a police officer in Paris on Thursday before he was killed by police during a hostage situation on Friday.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared Saturday that France is at war with radical Islam.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Manuel Valls” author_title=”Prime Minister of France”]
It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity.
French police have been told to erase their social media presence and remain armed at all times as terrorist sleeper cells have been activated in France.
Sixteen people have been arrested since the terror attacks began on Wednesday, five of whom remain in custody as police look for evidence. Security forces have also been deployed throughout Paris to guard tourist sites and places of worship in preparation for what will likely be a large demonstration on Sunday to show unity against extremists, according to NBC News.
Authorities are rushing to piece together the connections between the three suspects killed on Friday as two hostage sieges ended. The suspects killed were brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, who orchestrated Wednesday’s deadly attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and Amedy Coulibaly, who is suspected in the death of a French policewoman and the shootings and hostage situation at a kosher supermarket on Friday.
Thousands of people marched in Paris, Nice and Toulouse on Saturday in a show of solidarity. Additional rallies were held as far away as Bangui in Central Africa and Madagascar, the New York Times reported.