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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Mother and daughters plotted attacks on London landmarks

The trio attempted to form the UK's first all female terror cell

The palace of Westminster in London, one of the sites the trio plotted to attack.
The palace of Westminster in London, one of the sites the trio plotted to attack.

A mother and her two daughters attempted to form the UK’s first all-female terror group, with the intention of carrying out attacks on the British Museum and the Palace of Westminster, a British court was told on Thursday.

Safaa Boular, 18, referred to grenades as “pineapples” in online conversations as she planned a grenade or car attack on the British museum. However, her plans were foiled when she attempted to travel to Raqqa - formerly ISIS de-facto capital in Syria - and marry and ISIS supporter she had met online, The Times reported.

It was claimed she continued her terror activities from behind bars, encouraging her older sister Rizlaine Boular, 22, to carry out a knife attack on the palace of Westminster – which houses the British parliament, in April last year.

The girls’ mother Mina Dich, 44, provided “positive assistance and support”, it was claimed. This extended to buying a pack of knives with older daughter Rizlaine, the court was told.

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Agents from MI5 - the UK’s internal intelligence agency - uncovered the plot by posing as ISIS members to communicate with Safaa online and placing listening bugs in the family home.

Whilst Rizlaine and her mother have admitted to preparing acts of terrorism, Safaa denies the two counts of preparing acts of terrorism against her.

Prosecutors allege that Safaa, who lives in Vauxhall, south west London with her mother, established an online network of more than 400 ISIS contacts. It was online she met Naweed Hussain, a recruiter for the group. In August 2016, barely three months after she had met him, she declared her love for him, and vowed to travel to Syria, where the two would blow themselves up with suicide belts.

Duncan Atkinson, QC for the prosecution that opened the case alleged that Mr Hussain had sent the Boular sisters £3000 to fund their travel to Syria. Hussain said that he and Safaa planned to “depart the world holding hands and taking others with them”.

Following her initial arrest, and the confiscation of her passport, Safaa began plotting an attack on UK soil, it is alledged.

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A police bug in the family home captured the trio laughing about the victims of the Westminster attack in March last year.

Mr Hussain’s death in April last year, did not ring a hault to Safaa’s desire to “unleash violence and terror”, Mr Atkinson argued.

“However, that those intentions were not just chilling but sincere and determined is demonstrated by the fact that she did not abandon them even when she was unable to put them into effect herself. Rather, she sought to encourage her sister Rizlaine to carry the torch forward in her stead.”

Safaa was even heard discussing the alleged plot over the phone with Rizlaine from prison.

Joel Bennathan, QC for the defense claimed that Safaa, who was a minor at the time, had been “groomed” over the internet by Mr Hussain. He added that there was no evidence she truly intended to carry out an attack.

Authorities believe that more than 850 Britons have travelled to Syria to join various militant groups – including ISIS, more than 100 have been convicted for offences relating to the conflict.