Ornella Gilligman, 29 and the mother of three children, was part of an all-woman’s Islamic State terror cell and the first-such woman to be charged by French authorities.
Gilligman was caught through fingerprints she left in her car, which was discovered parked near the cathedral by an alert resident. Gilligman fled the car after unsuccessfully trying to set it on fire.
When police arrived, they discovered a still-burning cigarette inside with three canisters filled with gas.
Police were then able to track Gilligman to the south of France where she was attempting to flee with her boyfriend to Spain. The two were arrested at a gas station near the city of Orange, however, her boyfriend has since been released without charges.
French authorities identified the other members of the cell as Ines Madani, 19, Sarah Hervouet, 23, and Amel Sakaou, 39, and said they were all “determined to cause carnage in Paris.”
All of the other women were captured in a raid on a flat in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, south of Paris. Madani was shot and wounded in the operation and was discovered with a letter of her last testaments and a pledge to the Islamic State.
Both Gilligman and Madani, whose father owned the car, were on terror watch lists.
It also emerged that Herouet had been engaged to marry Larossi Aballa, who was killed after murdering a French policeman and his wife and afterwards, to Adel Kermich, who murdered Catholic priest Jacques Hamel in Normandy before being killed by police.
Meanwhile in France, a 16-year old French boy who was suspected of planning an imminent terrorist attack was arrested in Paris. The boy, who some reports have identified as young as 15, was already on house arrest.
The arrest was not linked to the ISIS female cell. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that there were at least 15,000 people in France who police have identified as being susceptible to radicalization and were being watched.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, announced that there were at least 520 identified potential “attackers” along with another 320 persons who were being watched by authorities.
“The terror threat now stems from foreign hit teams as well as fanatical lone wolves in Germany,” said de Maiziere. “The hit teams are secretly smuggled into Europe and prepare their actions without being noticed, as we saw with the attacks in Paris and Brussels.”
“But it’s even more difficult to uncover the fanatical lone wolves,” he added.
And in Canada, the government announced that at least 60 people who were suspected of being “extremist travelers” had returned to Canada and were being tracked.