Three women were charged Thursday in what is believed to be Britain’s first all-female Islamist terror plot.
The women are accused of planning to murder “a person or persons unknown” between April 11 and April 28. Two of them wore burqas to court, but the judge forced them to remove their veils, according to The Times.
Rizlaine Boular, 21, was shot by anti-terror officials in late April when she was arrested in London with her 20-year-old accomplice Khawla Barghouthi. Ms Boular’s mother, Mina Dich, 43, was arrested in Kent on the same day. The women are accused of conspiring between April 11 and April 28 this year to murder “a person or persons unknown”.
Ms Boular, who was arrested in hospital after being treated for the gunshot wound, is accused of engaging in conduct “with the intention of committing acts of terrorism” over the same period. Her mother and Ms Barghouthi are accused of having assisted her.
Two men and a 16-year-old boy, who were also arrested after armed police stormed the Harlesden address and fired CS gas canisters into the top floor on April 27, were released without charge last week.
Three teenage women subsequently arrested in east London as part of the operation have also all been released without charge.
Ms Boular is thought to be of Algerian ancestry, although she was born in Kensington and Chelsea. She has an older brother and two younger sisters who were all also born in southwest London.
A profile for Ms Dich on Copains d’avant, a French social media website, states that she has four children. An employment profile on another site says that she is fluent in English, Arabic and French.
A LinkedIn account for Barghouthi lists her as a student volunteer at Little Acorn Nursery & Creche in Buckinghamshire. The nursery closed when the sports centre that housed it was rebuilt in 2014 and she is no longer known at a nearby address.
The three women are accused of plotting a random knife attack on a stranger or strangers. The women appeared this morning at Westminster magistrates’ court accused of planning the knife attack near parliament.
They will appear in court May 19.
French authorities warned of a rise in female-dominated Islamic State terror cells in September. A group of women were arrested after three bottles of diesel fuel and five canisters of cooking gas were discovered Sept. 4 in a car near the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Police detained two girls weeks later in the city of Nice for plotting to carry out an attack.
“The terrorist organization uses not only women, but young women, who get to know each other and develop their plot from a distance,” Paris Prosecutor François Molins told reporters in September.