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Female Commando’s Lack of Experience Saves Paris Twice from Sabotage Acts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A French police officer patrols in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris Friday Sept 9, 2016- AP

Ines, 19, Sarah, 23, Amel, 39, and Ornella, 29, and maybe there are other girls who might be involved in the probe carried out by French Security services.

Those women make up the female “terror commando” that attempted to carry out a terrorist attack in Paris as they parked a car with its license plates removed, its hazard lights mysteriously flashing and laden with gas cylinders close to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

They are alleged to have been planning other “imminent and violent” attacks in a Paris railway station under the direction of ISIS, according to Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins.

In a press conference, Molins described the operatives as a ‘determined commando unit’ who could have brought carnage to the city.

“The transition to action by these young women, who were directed by individuals within the ranks of ISIS in Syria, shows that this organization wants to create female fighters,” he said.

The car’s discovery put the French capital on high alert, reviving fears about further attacks in a country where ISIS militants have killed more than 230 people since January 2015.

The Interior Ministry said the intended target had been Gare de Lyon, a mainline train station in central Paris, and that all stations had been put on alert.

Prosecutor Molins said the youngest of the three women, whose father owned the car, had already been suspected by police of wanting to wage jihad for ISIS in Syria.

Moreover, sources close to the case said she and her accomplices had tried to set it on fire – possibly with a cigarette – before fleeing.

Ines had written a letter pledging allegiance to the group and saying she had rallied to the call to punish France for its attacks on Muslims, Molins said.

The car’s owner was taken into custody earlier this week but later released. He had gone to police on Sunday to report that his daughter had disappeared with his car, officials said.

Four people were detained earlier in the week. Another man, the fiancé of Sarah, has also since been arrested, said Molins.

The man has a connection to another attack in which a police couple was killed near Paris in June, identifying him as the brother of a friend of the police killer, Larossi Abballa, Molins added.

Notably, the 23 year-old woman had also previously been engaged to Abballa, and Adel Kermiche, one of the men behind the murder of a priest in July, according to Molins.