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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

UK teenager convicted of terrorist plot with her mother and sister

Safaa Boular wanted to attack a museum after she was prevented from travelling to Syria to marry an ISIS militant

Safaa Boular has been convicted of plotting an attack on the British Museum after failing in her ambition of becoming a jihadi bride. Her mother and sister have been convicted of helping her, in Britain's first case involving an all-female cell of ISIS-inspired plotters. Metropolitan Police via AP
Safaa Boular has been convicted of plotting an attack on the British Museum after failing in her ambition of becoming a jihadi bride. Her mother and sister have been convicted of helping her, in Britain's first case involving an all-female cell of ISIS-inspired plotters. Metropolitan Police via AP

A London teenager who wanted to attack the British Museum with grenades and firearms after she was prevented from travelling to Syria to marry an ISIS militant was convicted on Monday of planning acts of terrorism.

Safaa Boular, now 18, had started chatting online to fighter Naweed Husain when she was 16. She had decided to join him in Syria so they could marry, then carry out a suicide attack there while holding hands.

Husain had sent Safaa’s older sister, Rizlaine, £3,000 (Dh15,000) to pay for Safaa’s travel arrangements but the sisters were arrested in August 2016. They were released on bail but had their passports confiscated.

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Mother and daughters plotted attacks on London landmarks

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Safaa continued chatting to Husain, and the pair discussed plans for her to attack the British Museum, one of central London’s top attractions for visitors, with what she called “pineapples” – grenades.

“Safaa Boular’s intention was to cause serious injury and death,” said Sue Hemming of the Crown Prosecution Service.

After Husain was killed in Syria on April 4, 2017, Safaa wrote that she wanted to be granted “martyrdom”.

“My heart yearns … to be reunited with my dear husband for the very first time,” she wrote.

Instead, she was arrested eight days later, but her sister Rizlaine took on the planning of an attack on targets in central London, supported by the young women’s mother Mina Dich.

The mother and daughter went on a reconnaissance visit to major landmarks in Westminster on April 25 last year, and the following day they bought knives from a supermarket. They were arrested a day later.

Rizlaine Boular, 22, and Dich, 44, both pleaded guilty in February to planning acts of terrorism. Their pleas could not previously be reported because of the risk of prejudice to Safaa’s trial by jury.

The trio will be sentenced at a later date.