How the female terror suspect fled Europe unnoticed

ISTANBUL -- The search for Paris terror suspect Hayat Boumeddiene is focused far beyond France's borders. Surveillance cameras captured Boumeddiene entering Turkey through an Istanbul airport on Friday, Jan.2, a week before her partner - Amedy Coulibaly - killed four hostages in a Kosher grocery store in Paris.

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A map showing the travel of terror suspect Hayat Boumedienne
CBS News
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Hayat Boumedienne

Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire/Getty Images

The Turkish authorities said Monday that they were not warned about Boumeddiene by the French government. So they stamped her passport, and let her into the country.

And she wasn't alone. In the surveillance video you can see a man who Turkish officials named as 23-year-old Mahdi Sabri Belhoucine - another French citizen.

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Mahdi Sabri Belhoucine, left, with Hayat Boumeddiene seen at an airport in Istanbul
CCTV

Photographs of Hayat Boumeddiene show her transformation from the daughter of a French delivery driver to an armed Islamic extremist.

Turkish authorities believe after arriving in Istanbul, Boumeddiene stayed two nights in a hotel. After she left Istanbul, Boumeddiene spent four days in another city close to the Syrian border before crossing into the war zone on Thursday, according to Turkish officials.

The same day her partner, Coulibaly, shot and killed a French policewoman. He attacked the Kosher grocery store the following day, and the French authorities announced they were searching for Boumeddiene.

But by then, it was too late. Phone records confirmed that the woman who may have vital information about terror networks in Europe was already in Syria.

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Hayat Boumeddiene, left
Le Monde

There is no European no-fly list that would have prevented Boumeddiene from traveling from Paris to Madrid and eventually onto Istanbul. If the French police had been looking for Boumeddiene, that would have been flagged to the Spanish but they weren't when she left France before the attacks took place.

One Turkish official told us that his government is furious that the French did not flag Boumeddiene as a possible extremist. But U.S. officials say it's normal to scale back close surveillance of suspects who are deemed less important.