Teenage girls arrested over suspected French terrorist plot
Two teenage girls, aged 14 and 17, have been arrested in the south of France on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack.
Anti-terrorism police raided the girls’ homes in Nice and Levens over the weekend and discovered evidence suggesting they could have been planning a terrorist attack, AFP reports. The girls were taken in for questioning.
The country has been in a state of emergency since the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015 which killed 130 people.
“At this stage we do not know how far advanced the preparations were,” a source close to the inquiry told the news agency.
No weapons were found during the raids, but local media reports that other incriminating evidence was uncovered.
France's anti-terrorism public prosecutor in Paris is leading the investigation to determine if the girls were intending to carry out an attack.
Several teenagers have been arrested recently in anti-terrorism swoops across France.
Three other girls were arrested in February over alleged discussions with links to jihadist Rachid Kassim on Telegram, the encrypted messaging service.
The trio were indicted by a Parisian anti-terrorism judge in early March.
“Islamic terrorism is hitting France repeatedly, despite the government saying that these are just ‘deranged’ people,” Luc Rivet, editor-in-chief of right-wing Belgian newspaper Le Peuple in the wake an attack at Orly Airport in Paris last month.
“France has something like 10,000 people it considers dangerous, and a few thousand of those are very dangerous and could attack any time, but it doesn’t have the resources to follow them all,” Rivet said.