Wednesday, September 14, 2016

France's 'first all-female ISIS cell' allegedly sought to strike Eiffel Tower

French police

Authorities have reportedly uncovered the first all-female Islamic State cell in France after several suspects were detained over alleged plans to attack the Eiffel Tower.

The four-woman cell's purported leading member was arrested last week in connection to an explosives-laden car found near another Paris landmark - the Notre Dame cathedral.

The leading suspect, an alleged 29-year-old mother-of-three was named as Ornella Gilligman. She reportedly told French authorities that her jihadi cell had preferred to target the iconic Eiffel Tower, and not in fact the cathedral. 

Last Sunday, French authorities found the car near Notre Dame loaded with gas cylinders and jerry cans of diesel.

The finding lead to the discovery of a plot to attack a Paris railway station under the direction of Islamic State.

Seven people, including the four women, were arrested on suspicion of connection to the plot. 

One of the women, arrested on Thursday stabbed a police officer during her arrest on Thursday.

Gilligman was arrested with her partner on a motorway on Tuesday and was placed under investigation on Saturday.

The man was freed on Saturday.

The discovery of the vehicle triggered a terrorism investigation and revived fears about further attacks in a country where Islamist militants have killed more than 230 people since January 2015.

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