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France foils IS-directed gas cylinder explosion in Paris

French police found a car laden with gas cylinders found abandoned near Notre Dame cathedral. Photograph: (Getty)

Paris, France Sep 09, 2016, 08.44 PM (IST)

Three Islamic State-linked women, who were planning to launch a jihadist attack in France, were arrested on Thursday, French authorities said on Friday.

The suspects were arrested after French police found a car laden with gas cylinders.

A half-lit cigarette and a flammable material found in the boot of the car were used to launch the cylinder attack, investigators said. Fortunately, the women were unable to blow up the car.

"A terrorist cell made up of young women totally receptive to the deadly ideology of Daesh (IS) has been dismantled," France's anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said a press conference. 

France is on high alert after security services received warnings about a potential attack in railway stations.

The incarcerated women were hiding in an apartment in the Paris suburb of Boussy-Saint-Antoine.

One policeman was stabbed during the Thursday night operation.

Prosecutors have also found links between one of the arrested women and IS.

Nineteen-year-old Ines Madani, suspected to lead the radical group, was the fiancee of Larossi Abballa. Madani had also individually pledged her allegiance to the IS, prosecutors said.

In June, 25-year-old Abbala had murdered policeman Jean-Baptiste S and his partner in Magnanville, a Paris suburb.

Madani was then engaged to another IS jihadist Adel Kermiche who killed priest Jacques Hamel in July. 

The other two women have been idenified as 23-year-old Sarah H and Amel S, who is 39 years of age. Amel's daughter has also been taken to police custody.

Sarah was the woman who stabbed the policeman in the Thursday swoop.

The developments also demonstrated IS's willingness to use women to launch fatal attacks in France.


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