Female terrorists jailed over plot to bomb Notre-Dame Cathedral
Two members of a female terrorist cell were sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for plotting to detonate a car bomb outside Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Ines Madani, 22, and Ornella Gilligmann, 32, were jailed for 30 years and 25 years respectively alongside three other women on Monday for their part in the attempted bombing in September 2016.
Madani and Gilligmann doused a Peugeot 607 – packed with six gas cylinders – with diesel and tried to set it on fire with a cigarette.
Their plot was foiled when they failed to ignite the fuel because they used diesel rather than petrol. The vehicle was later discovered by police.
The women were believed to have been acting on the orders of Rachid Kassim, a former youth worker and failed rapper from provincial France who later became an ISIS recruiter.
Kassim, who is believed to have been killed in a US strike in Mosul in 2017, was tried in his absence and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Madani was arrested along with two other defendants Sarah Hervouet, 26, and Amel Sakaou, 42, after being tracked down by police to a Paris apartment a few days after the failed attack.
Hervouet, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail along with Sakaou, stabbed a police officer as the three attempted to escape. Madani was shot in the leg.
Another woman, Samia Chalel, 26, was sentenced to five years in prison for trying to help hide Madani.
Gilligmann, who claimed during the trial that she was lured into the plot by Madani, was arrested in southern France.
The court heard how Madani posed as a male ISIS fighter online to try to recruit women to the extremist group.
Lawyers representing Gilligmann, a married mother-ofthree, said she had acted out of love for a fictitious ISIS fighter Abou Junayd.
Madani, whom the court heard was radicalised after being sexually assaulted as a teenager, said she regretted her role in the bomb plot.