Trio charged on suspicon of plotting terror attack
Thomas Sauret, 20, and his 16-year-old girlfriend known only as Sarah – who both pledged allegiance to ISIS – were arrested with Malik Hammami, 33, in the southern coastal city of Montpellier.
Anti-terror investigators are handling the case after all three have been charged for “criminal association in connection with a criminal terrorist enterprise”, it has been claimed.
Sauret and Sarah have also been charged with making and possessing explosives in an organised group.
Sarah was allegedly seen pledging allegiance to the death-cult ISIS in a video on social media and claimed the Eiffel Tower would have been her main target in interviews.
She and her boyfriend were driven from the headquarters of France's domestic intelligence services to a specially convened terrorist court in central Paris.
All three of the accused are said to have been spotted using the encrypted messaging app Telegram – a well-known method of communication among would-be jihadis.
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Eiffel Tower was allegedly the main target for the accussed
An imminent terrorist act was being prepared
Interior minister Bruno Le Roux
Interior minister Bruno Le Roux said: "An imminent terrorist act was being prepared.”
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The teenage girl and Sauret, who both converted to Islam, are accused of buying acetone and hydrogen peroxide – chemicals which are widely known for making a homemade explosive known as TATP.
Police found 71 grams of TATP during a raid in the cellar of a house in Clapiers, a small commune just north of Montpellier, where Sauret had been allegedly staying.
Sarah lived with her divorced mother of Greek origin, sources close to the case have said.
Paris has been on high-alert since a terror attack in November 2015
The youngster begun to take an interest in radical Islam and began “looking up information on the internet”, one prosecuting source said.
It is online where she met her boyfriend Sauret, who was on a state security watch list.
Her mother has insisted her daughter is “completely innocent” and will “soon be back home”.
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