An 18-year-old girl was planning to commit terrorist acts

An 18-year-old girl arrested in Beziers in early April was planning to commit terrorist acts against the Catholic community. Fascinated by ultra-violence, she presents a very disturbing image

An 18-year-old girl was planning to commit terrorist acts

Sketches of guns and knives, swastikas, diagrams of how to make explosives, a drawing of a member of Daesh holding a decapitated head… With this phrase, the diary says: “Leila, I want your blood”. The results of a search of the home of 18-year-old Leila B. in Beziers will send shivers down your spine.

This young woman just over the age of 18 was arrested along with several members of her family in early April in Beziers in the sensitive area of Devez. Emergency operation. According to a long investigation by the Parisian, the DGSI (Directorate General of Internal Security) had just learned that a “young Frenchman who had converted to Islam” was about to go on the attack with a sabre during Easter weekend in a church in Montpellier or Strasbourg.

The tip-off came from Moroccan security services. The pseudonym the teenager used on the social networking site Telegram was the same as the Twitter account reported to the police platform Pharos last March for publishing a video of the shooting of ISIS hostages. The IP address used led to the home of Leila B.’s mother in Beziers.

Emergency counter-terrorism operation

At 01:55 on 4 April, police from the DGSI and a raid broke down the door to a residential house in Beziers. When they enter the teenager’s room, according to a Paris report, they find pictures of the mutilated body of Samuel Pati, the teacher murdered in Conflan St-Honorin in 2020. On the ground lie bottles of sulphuric acid, acetone, methylated spirits or electrical wires: elements that could be used to make TATP, the explosive used by jihadists. Police even discover the beginnings of the assembly of an explosive device connected to a mobile phone battery. There is a 30-centimetre-long knife at the bedside of a young woman. And posters of the World Trade Centre towers burning on the wall.

Locked in her room for two years

If the police arrest Leila, her sisters and her mother, investigators are interested in the teenager. The third in a family of five, her father is an alcoholic and seriously ill. The family comes from a dysfunctional social background. Leila had attended CAP’s Fashion Vocations course at Béziers Secondary School but had been expelled two years earlier. Since then she has spent her days locked up in her room. His family could not enter it.

Charmed by ultra-violence

According to the portrait painted by the Parisian, Leila is a “teenage girl in trouble”. She frequents websites dedicated to “bloodshed”, watching videos of shootings in the United States or beheadings committed by Daesh, she is fascinated by death and extreme violence. While in custody, she confessed to police, “I love seeing people beheaded, suffering, beheading, death.”

During the search, police found a detailed plan of his former high school in Bezier, as well as his target building and a drawing of a revolver. “Around 9-10am I am going to kill one of my neighbours and then decide if I am going to kill three more neighbours (…) After I go to the high school and start the massacre. I’m going to explode, destroy things, kill all the people in my way,” she wrote in her diary, according to comments published by Le Parisien.

In the last pages of his notebook there is also a diagram showing the location of the church in Béziers with opening hours and rush hours.

Target church?

So was Leila B. going to take action against the church over the Easter weekend? If DGSI fears a possible action in Montpellier or Strasbourg, it is because of conversations intercepted between Leila and radicalised people on Telegram. So, on 31 March, she wrote to a correspondent who could be a jihadist in Syria: “Christians, I’m going to kill them. Cut their heads off. I’m going to kill the people of the church, yes, Montpellier in France.” She also spoke to a man who said he was in Turkey and wanted to attack a church or synagogue with a gun.

While in police custody, Leila confessed to police: “I wanted to make a bomb with TATP. I wanted to put this bomb in the church. I haven’t decided yet when I want to detonate it, neither the time nor the date. The date.” The person taken into custody as a “non-practicing Muslim” explained that she wanted to “attract attention” and “scare people”.

On 8 April, Leila B. was charged with “criminal terrorist association”. She was taken into custody. Her sisters and her mother are out of the question.

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