French authorities prosecuted a female “terrorist commando” Saturday, highlighting the growing Islamic State trend of recruiting women and children as potential terrorists in France.
Paris counter-terrorism authorities discovered a car September 4, with three bottles of diesel fuel and five canisters of cooking gas rigged to explode near the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris police now believe that nearly all the terror plotters involved with the rigged car were women who were run by “remote control” by a notorious ISIS terrorist in Syria.
The women put up a fierce fight when arrested by French police Thursday. One woman was shot in the leg when she tried to stab her arresting officer and another stabbed a plain-clothes French officer with a kitchen knife by leaning out the window of her car. The third woman arrested reportedly recruited her 16-year-old daughter for the plot, who was later detained in another Paris suburb.
“The terrorist organization uses not only women, but young women, who get to know each other and develop their plot from a distance,” Paris Prosecutor François Molins told reporters on Friday.
French police also arrested a 15-year-old boy Sunday who is accused of plotting an “imminent” terrorist attack in the heart of Paris. His plot came “in response to calls from Syria to attack France,” according to a French source who spoke with Agence Frasse Presse.
The 15-year-old boy and the female plotters were reportedly in touch with a French ISIS militant in Syria known as Rashid Kassim. All conspirators used encrypted messaging app, Telegram, to communicate with Kassim. The encrypted messaging service allows terrorists to communicate without being intercepted by counter-terrorism authorities.
French authorities have connected Kassim to directing the stabbing of two French police officers, and the gruesome execution of a beloved French priest. France’s Prime Minister told reporters Monday that authorities are monitoring nearly 15,000 prospective terrorists and foiling plots “every day.”