Jail
Jail iStock

French prison guards on Sunday thwarted an escape attempt from the Paris region's second-largest jail, with French media identifying the would-be escapee as a suspected Islamic State (ISIS) sympathizer who dug a hole in the wall of her cell and rappelled out on knotted sheets, The Associated Press reported.

The Justice Ministry said the prisoner was caught Sunday morning. Guards immediately inspected all of the women's cells at the Fresnes prison to ensure that other prisoners were accounted for, and an investigation was opened, the ministry said.

Broadcaster France Info said the detainee was jailed after she travelled to Syria to join ISIS. According to the report, motion detectors alerted guards that she had escaped from her cell after she climbed down on bedsheets through a hole.

In recent years, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by ISIS, the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.

The country has been under a heightened alert in recent years in the wake of the attacks.

In October of 2020, a man stabbed three people to death at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice. He was later handed terror murder charges.

The same month, teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a Chechen man in a suburb of Paris after showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on freedom of speech.

A month earlier, a 25-year-old man wounded two people in a meat cleaver attack in Paris. He was subsequently charged with "attempted murder with relation to a terrorist enterprise."

Last May, a man who had been on a watch list for Islamic radicalism stabbed a police officer at her station in western France and shot two other officers before police killed him.

A month later, French MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of tightening the country's anti-terror laws, including placing curbs on the movements of convicted radicals and using algorithms to detect online extremists.

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