Thu | Sep 21, 2017

7 detained over gas canisters found near Paris' Notre Dame

Published:Friday | September 9, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Police officers stand guard as they take part in a raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine yesterday.

PARIS (AP):

Three women radicals with apparent plans for 'imminent' violence were detained yesterday after a standoff with French police as part of a terrorism investigation into six gas canisters found in a car abandoned near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the interior minister said.

The discovery of the mysterious car has revived worries about the threat of new attacks in France, which has already been repeatedly targeted by Islamic State extremists and remains under a state of emergency. Seven people are now in custody in the Notre Dame case.

The three women were detained in an operation last night in Boussy-Saint-Antoine in a "veritable race against the clock", Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters. One of the women attacked police, and an intelligence officer was hospitalised with a knife wound to the shoulder. One suspect was also injured, Cazeneuve said.

PREPARING ATTACK

"These radicalised, fanatic women, aged 39, 23, and 19 years old, were likely preparing new violent actions, particularly imminent," he said. "France is confronted with a terrorist threat of unprecedented scale. ... It requires the vigilance of all our compatriots."

The 19-year-old is the daughter of the owner of the abandoned car, according to two officials who were not authorised to be publicly named discussing an ongoing operation.

The car's owner went to police to report that his 19-year-old radicalised daughter was missing. He was briefly detained and then released.

Paris Prosecutor FranÁois Molins said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper last week that an increasing number of teenage girls have been radicalised, some with "terrorist plans".