France: Teenage charged with planning attack

French court remands 16-year-old girl accused of planning a jihadist attack in custody.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

ISIS flag (illustration)
ISIS flag (illustration)

A French court on Monday remanded in custody a 16-year-old girl accused of planning a jihadist attack in a country on edge following a series of brutal terror assaults, a judicial source said, according to AFP.

The teenager was charged with "criminal conspiracy with terrorists" and "provocation to committing terrorist acts using online communication", the source said on condition of anonymity.

Even at her young age, the "highly radicalized" girl was an administrator of a group on the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

"She relayed numerous Islamic State group propaganda messages calling for attacks, and she also expressed her own intention of taking action," a source close to the investigation said.

The girl, with no criminal record, was taken into custody last Thursday, during an anti-terror sweep in the Paris suburb of Melun.

The security forces then raided her family home, but found neither explosives nor firearms there.

"At this stage in the probe, investigators have not identified a planned target," the source said, adding that the girl's phone and computer have been seized.

The arrest comes amid a recent wave of terrorist attacks in France, the last one being on July 26, when two 19-year-olds stormed a church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray and brutally murdered an elderly priest.

The two attackers had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) and also encouraged other Muslims to “destroy France”.

On July 14, a 31-year-old Tunisian rammed a 19-ton truck into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 85 and wounding more than 400.

A state of emergency was declared in France after the November 13, 2015 ISIS attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead and was recently extended by parliament.

Even before the latest terrorist attacks, France – as well as many other countries – has been effected by the phenomenon of radicalization.

In April, twelve members of a France-based jihadist network that sent fighters to Syria were given prison sentences, including a woman who had taken her three children to join her husband there.

In January, a key French member of ISIS who had ties to the Charlie Hebdo attackers was sentenced in absentia by a Paris court to 15 years in prison.

AFP contributed to this report.