Three female jihadists were allegedly arrested in France this week for planning to blow up the Eiffel Tower reports Le Journal du Dimanche citing an anonymous source close to the investigation.
The plot was prevented when a 29-year-old mother of three Ornella Gilligman confessed to law enforcement authorities about the plot by her and two other terrorists. The would-be attackers were charged on Sunday for the Eiffel Tower terror conspiracy.
The two other women detained in the case have not been fully interrogated, but authorities say that Gilligman talked a lot about providing different variants of how the attack could have been conducted. Her testimony will be compared to the other women detained in connection with the case.
Gilligman, who is now detained in a high-security facility in Paris was also linked to a terror plot against the Notre Dame cathedral with authorities discovering a vehicle next to the venerable church with at least seven gas cylinders inside. Investigation sources told Le Figaro newspaper that there were no detonators discovered inside.
The mother of three now faces trial for “attempted murder and involvement with a criminal gang preparing a terrorist attack” despite admitting her guilt ultimately leading to the apprehension of the two other terror accomplices.
The thwarting of the Eiffel Tower terror plot comes as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in an interview in Sunday that “we have nearly 700 French jihadists and French residents, who are currently fighting in Iraq and Syria” while also opining that there are some 15,000 people who authorities believe could be radical jihadists planning to conduct terror strikes.
The inability of the French government to prevent terror attacks following the tragic attack in Nice on July 14 that left at least 84 people dead and a wave of other bloody incidents including the Bataclan massacre and the Charlie Hebdo strike have cratered support of the Socialist government of Francois Hollande leading to right-wingers including Marine Le Pen and, to a lesser extent, former President Nicolas Sarkozy to return to political prominence vowing to crackdown on migration and terror.