French prosecutors charge woman over failed Paris attack

France flag mapFrench anti-terror judges on Saturday charged a woman over a failed attack near Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral, where a car containing gas canisters was found last weekend.

The woman, named as 29-year-old Ornella G., was remanded in custody after being charged with association with a terrorist group and attempted murder by an organized group, prosecutors said.

She had been known to security services for planning to head to Syria.

Ornella G. was arrested in southern France on Tuesday with her boyfriend, who has since been released.

A car loaded with gas canisters had been found last weekend in the tourist district of Notre Dame de Paris in the heart of the French capital.
A car loaded with gas canisters had been found last weekend in the tourist district of Notre Dame de Paris in the heart of the French capital.

According to investigators, her fingerprints were found in the Peugeot car which was discovered abandoned last Sunday a few hundred yards from Notre Dame with five gas cylinders and three bottles of diesel fuel inside.

A woman linked to Ornella G. was also part of a suspected trio of women jihadists foiled by the authorities before they could carry out a fresh attack, investigators said.

Ornella G.’s fingerprints were found in a Peugeot car abandoned last Sunday a few hundred yards from Notre Dame with five gas cylinders and three bottles of diesel fuel inside, according to the probe.

Police on Thursday also arrested her alleged accomplice southeast of Paris – Ines M., 19, the daughter of the owner of the car. Ines M. also allegedly pledged an oath to IS.

The reason why the car was not detonated are unclear.

Investigators said Ornella G. and Ines M. had apparently tried to set fire to the vehicle but “fled when they saw a man they believed to be a plain-clothes policeman.”

Two other women, aged 23 and 39, were arrested with Ines M.

The trio had been plotting another attack, and were looking at train stations in Paris and south of the Paris, as well as the police, as potential targets, an unofficial source said.

They were guided by ISIS in Syria, anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said on Friday.

“A terrorist cell made up of young women totally receptive to the deadly ideology of Daesh has been dismantled,” Molins said at a news conference, using a name for the Islamic State, which is also known by the acronyms of ISIS and ISIL.

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