Yesterday three women were arrested in France for planning an imminent terror attack. The arrests came after authorities discovered a car full of gas canisters parked near Notre Dame cathedral Sunday. Today a Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins, said the women were part of a terror cell being directed by ISIS. From CNN:
Three women arrested in raids this week in France were part of a terror cell directed by ISIS from Syria, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday…
One of the women had a letter in her purse swearing allegiance to ISIS, Molins said.
In the letter, she said she was answering the call of Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, according to Molins. Adnani, one of the highest-ranking figures in ISIS, was killed in late August.
The letter also said that “I am attacking you in your lands in order to terrorize you,” according to Molins.
According to Molins (video below) the letter was found in the purse of Ines M., the 19-year-old whose father owned the car found near Notre Dame cathedral.
Molins also described what was found in the trunk of the car. In addition to gas canisters and cans of diesel fuel, authorities found a cigarette (presumably burned out) next to a blanket that had been doused in oil. Authorities believe that had the blanket caught fire it would have ignited one or more of the canisters destroying the car. Based on Molins’ description, it sounds like it was a matter of luck that Paris did not experience another terror attack last weekend.
The Local reports that when the plan to set off the car bomb near Notre Dame failed the trio planned to attack a train station instead:
Police intercepted communications between Madani and another woman which confirmed their fear they were about to try to strike again.
On Thursday an urgent message was sent around police in the capital warning of an imminent attack on a train station in Paris. Unconfirmed reports in the French press on Friday claimed the cell wanted to attack the Gare de Lyon station although they did not say how exactly.
Here’s the statement by the French prosecutor including an English translation: