A series of photographs from 2010 appear to show Paris shooting suspects Amedy Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddiene. CNN has not independently confirmed the authenticity of theses images. They were published by French newspaper Le Monde.
Was terrorist radicalized by his girlfriend?
03:43 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Lawyer says female terror suspect Hayat Boumedienne was more radical than boyfriend, terrorist Amedy Coulibaly

French intelligence recorded Boumedienne complaining in a phone call that Coulibaly is "not a serious man"

Algerian terrorist Djamel Beghal mentored Coulibaly

Coulibaly had previously plotted to break an Algerian terrorist out of jail

Paris CNN  — 

New details are emerging about the lethal romance of the terrorist couple at the center of the conspiracy whose savagery has stunned the world.

Hayat Boumedienne, believed now to be on the run in Syria, was the more radical of the two, according to George Sauveur, who was for nearly a decade the attorney for her boyfriend, terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, killed at the kosher supermarket in Paris after he slaughtered four innocent Jewish men.

In 2010, in a call recorded by French intelligence, Sauveur says, she complained that Coulibaly is “not a serious man … he only thinks about having fun.”

A few years later, that had clearly changed, as the couple wreaked havoc on a nation still struggling to recover.

Coulibaly began his deadly rampage by shooting a rookie police officer, just around the corner from a Jewish school. On Monday, that school was guarded by armed police. More than 18,000 French police and military troops have fanned out across the country to protect vulnerable targets, including hundreds of synagogues and Jewish schools.

The president of the school told CNN he thinks Coulibaly intended to hit the school before he murdered the police officer.

Coulibaly’s attorney said that his former client was raised in a Muslim family, but one assimilated into French culture. The only boy of 10 children “he found it hard to find his status as a man in a family full of women,” the lawyer said.

He was not close to his parents; his mother referred to him as a juvenile delinquent and he racked up convictions for armed robbery and drugs

It was Djamel Beghal, an Algerian terrorist whom Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi separately met in the French prison Fleury-Mérogis, who mentored him into terrorism, the lawyer told CNN.

Beghal was serving 10 years for plotting to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Paris. According to Sauveur, Beghal introduced Coulibaly to Cherif Kouachi.

Beghal was released from prison in 2009 to house arrest in France, where authorities continued to track him, documenting visits to his house by both Coulibaly and Cherif Koubachi.

Together, the men tried to hatch a plot to break another man out of jail: Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, an Algerian terrorist in prison for his role in bombing a French train station in October 1995 , killing two and wounding dozens more.

They called the jailbreak conspiracy “The Wedding Project,” using a code language: “books” were actually weapons, “costumes” were cars, “birds” were helicopters, and and so on.

Beghal did not respect Coulibaly – he and another terrorists used disparaging, even racist language to describe him, but his armed robbery convictions underlined his ability to get weapons, so, his former lawyer says, Beghal enlisted his help.

That plot was stopped and the group went to prison.

Eight months ago Coulibaly was released from his latest stint in prison, radicalized and back in the arms of his even more radical girlfriend, who remains wanted and is presumed armed and dangerous.

Coulibaly’s lawyer suggests that a series of arrests of extremists in detention may have hastened the Coulibaly-Kouachi terrorist plot, for fear they might be arrested next.