Teen girl found guilty of plotting terror attack

Britain's first all-female terror cell includes (from left) Safaa Boular, 18, who plotted an attack on the British Museum, her sister Rizlaine, 22, and their mother Mina Dich, 44, who had their own plan.
Britain's first all-female terror cell includes (from left) Safaa Boular, 18, who plotted an attack on the British Museum, her sister Rizlaine, 22, and their mother Mina Dich, 44, who had their own plan.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Youngest female to be charged with planning ISIS attack in UK also recruited sis and mum

LONDON • A teenager in Britain has been found guilty of preparing an attack on the British Museum as part of the country's first all-female terror cell linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), police and prosecutors said.

Londoner Safaa Boular, 18, plotted the grenade and gun attack in her home town after the authorities intervened to stop her from travelling to Syria to marry an ISIS fighter she had met online.

On Monday, she became the youngest female to be charged with planning an ISIS attack in Britain.

Boular was only 16 when she made contact with British-born ISIS fighter Naweed Hussain, 32, discussing marriage and how they would don his and hers suicide belts.

But her hopes of joining him were dashed when she was stopped at the airport in August 2016 following a family trip to Morocco, and her passport was confiscated.

Boular then decided to plan an attack in Britain, detailing it in coded language - grenades were "pineapples" - to online contacts who were in fact undercover agents.

DETERMINED TO CARRY OUT ATTACKS

All three women were filled with hate and toxic ideology and were determined to carry out a terrorist attack. Had they been successful, it could well have resulted in people being killed or seriously injured.

COMMANDER DEAN HAYDON, Britain's top counter-terror police officer.

Hussain was later killed in a drone strike.

After Boular was charged with preparing terrorist acts in April last year, she passed the baton to her sister Rizlaine, 22, and their mother Mina Dich, 44, who hatched their own plan.

Rizlaine and her mother were arrested after being tracked by police visiting potential sites around Westminster and buying knives.

They pleaded guilty to terror offences, along with a fourth woman, Rizlaine's friend Khawla Barghouthi, 21, who later admitted to failing to alert the authorities.

Safaa Boular denied the plot but was found guilty on Monday after a trial.

Commander Dean Haydon, Britain's top counter-terror police officer, said: "(The plot) involved a family with murderous intent, the first all-female terrorist plot in the UK connected to Daesh (ISIS)."

He added: "All three women were filled with hate and toxic ideology and were determined to carry out a terrorist attack.

"Had they been successful, it could well have resulted in people being killed or seriously injured."

Rizlaine, her mother and their friend will be sentenced on June 15, although a date has not yet been set for Safaa Boular's sentencing.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2018, with the headline 'Teen girl found guilty of plotting terror attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe