5 women arrested in southern France for alleged plan of attack

Police in the south of France arrested four women and a girl as part of a counter-terrorism investigation into an alleged plan to attack the city of Montpellier.

A police officer from the Hérault region confirmed the nightly arrests in the city of Béziers and said on Sunday that the DGSI’s national intelligence service and the national counter-terrorism prosecutor’s office are in charge of the investigation.

Investigators focused on an 18-year-old woman who lives in a housing project in Béziers and is suspected of plotting an attack targeting nearby Montpellier, according to Mayor Robert Menard. The 18-year-old’s mother and three sisters were also arrested, including one who is a minor, he said.

The 18-year-old had “bragged” to neighbors about watching Islamic State videos, Menard told The Associated Press, although she said she did not know if she or her family had been on the authorities’ radar for radicalism.

Menard, who was alerted by police to the operation, said he spoke to restless neighbors at the scene.

“They are horrified. They fear that there will be a bad image of this neighborhood and of the Muslim community here, ”he said.


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