france police.jpg
Photograph: EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Two young women from the southern French resort of Nice have been remanded in custody on suspicion of terrorism, Le Parisien daily reported Sunday, citing investigators.

The suspects, aged 17 and 19, were arrested in the middle of September and are believed to have been in contact with the French jihadist Rachid Kassim via an encrypted messaging service.

"As in other cases where Rachid Kassim has popped up they were goaded to carry out an attack on precise targets to avenge the recent death of the Daesh spokesman," Le Parisien cited a source familiar with the investigation as saying, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State militia.

According to the newspaper report, the pair admitted during interrogation that they had spoken about carrying out an attack, but had then distanced themselves from Kassim.

The arrested 19-year-old was already known to French anti-terrorism investigators as she is believed to have planned to travel to the areas where the jihadists are fighting in the Middle East in 2014.

Several young people who admitted contact with Kassim have been arrested in France in recent weeks.

France is under a state of emergency following a series of Islamist attacks.

In Nice a suspected terrorist from Tunisia ploughed a truck into crowds celebrating France's national day on July 14, killing 86 people.

 

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