4 teenage girls detained in France in suspected attack plots

AP News
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Posted: Feb 28, 2017 3:59 PM

PARIS (AP) — Three teenage girls and an 18-year-old woman were detained in different parts of France Tuesday as suspects in attack plots, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

The four teenagers are suspected of taking part in an online chat channel, called "The Lionesses," through the Telegram instant messaging application, the office said.

Prosecutors allege they spoke of the possibility of preparing "violent actions."

Three of the detained teens are minors ages 14, 15 and 17. The fourth turned 18 in January, the office said.

Several French news outlets, citing unnamed judicial sources, reported the four teenagers were following the Telegram channel of Rachid Kassim, a French Islamic State fighter who was targeted in a U.S. drone strike in early February and who is believed to have overseen multiple plots in his homeland.

A growing number of young women and teen girls have been detained in France on suspicions of plotting attacks within the country or trying to go to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State group.