‘Woman held after foiled Paris car attack was ISIS follower’
French President Francois Hollande said a terror cell had been shut down and an attack “foiled,” after Ines Madani, 19, and two other women were arrested.
Police shot and wounded Madani as they swooped on her and her accomplices aged 23 and 39 years in a suburb south of Paris om Thursday.
Investigators believe Madani is the main suspect in a probe into the Peugeot 607 found a few hundred metres from Notre Dame cathedral on Sunday. She is the daughter of the car’s owner.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the three women “were apparently preparing new, violent and, what is more, imminent actions”.The women were “radicalised and fanaticised”, he said.
Madani had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State in a letter found in her possession, according to a source in the investigation.
A police officer suffered a knife wound in the stomach during the arrests in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, south of Paris, late Thursday. Hollande, speaking on a visit to Athens, said: “An attack has been foiled.” “A group has been destroyed,” he said, but he warned: “there are others.”
A police source said security services had on Thursday issued a warning about a possible attack on train stations in Paris and the area where the women lived. Police are now convinced that the car found with five full gas cylinders in its boot was intended to be used in an attack.
The car was discovered with its hazard lights flashing and its licence plates had been removed. Three bottles of diesel fuel were also discovered in the vehicle, but police did not find any detonators. Police said the boyfriend of one of the three women was also arrested on Thursday. The man’s brother is also in custody over suspected links to Larossi Abballa, a jihadist who killed a police officer and his girlfriend in a Paris suburb in June, a source said.
Four persons – two brothers and their girlfriends – are already in custody over the discovery of the car. The first couple arrested, a 34-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, have been held since Tuesday and are known to the security services for links to radical Islam.