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Safaa Boular: How London teenager plotted attacks with all-female terror cell by organising a tea pa


This is the chilling moment Britain's youngest female terrorist was filmed on a 'reconnaissance' mission at MI6 HQ as she planned a devastating attack there with her own family.

Safaa Boular, 18, was today found guilty of planning a gun and grenade assault on the British Museum and the MI6 headquarters after becoming radicalised by an ISIS fighter in Syria over the internet who told her he wanted to marry her.

But she was also supported by her hardline fundamentalist mother Mina Dich, 44, and older sister Rizlaine with the family forming Britain's only all-female terror cell.

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Even after Safaa was arrested she made phone calls to her sister from behind bars urging her to carry on the plot through coded messages about a 'Mad Hatter's tea party'.

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Rizlaine, 22, was later shot by anti-terror officers as she and friend Khawla Barghouthi were arrested last year in a raid in Harlesden, north west London.

The sisters, pictured at a younger age before they were radicalised.

A picture was found on her phone that is thought to show all four women posing in burkas

Now all face jail when they are sentenced over the coming weeks, with Safaa set to return to the dock in six weeks and the other three due in court on June 15.

Safaa was trained online by her fiancée Naweed Hussain, a British Pakistani who joined ISIS in Syria in June 2015. He urged her to attack the Palace of Westminster before he died in an air strike.

Boular made no reaction in the dock as she was found guilty by a jury after two days of deliberations.

Judge Mark Dennis QC put off sentencing for around six weeks for a report to be compiled.

The schoolgirl originally plotted to join him in Syria where they would don suicide belts and 'depart the world holding hands.'

But the plans were foiled when her passport was seized after she was arrested at the airport after a family holiday in Morocco.

She was kept in custody as police uncovered details of her plans to carry out a kamikaze attack at the British Museum with grenades and firearms.

Following her arrest, Safaa encouraged her older sister Rizlaine, 22, to pick up her mantle and launch a knife attack at the Palace of Westminster.

The British Museum, pictured, was another tourist attraction targetted by Boular and her family

Her mother, 44-year-old hardline fundamentalist Mina Dich, also encouraged her daughters to carry out atrocities and even drove Rizlaine around tourist hotspots and bought a selection of knives and a rucksack.

Rizlaine was shot and wounded by armed police as she and a friend were arrested at an address in Harlesden, north London, on 27 April last year.

Dich was arrested as she visited Safaa at a Kent detention centre later the same day.

The mother and Rizlaine admitted engaging in preparation for terrorist acts while another woman, Rizlaine's friend Khawla Barghouthi, 21 admitted failing to disclose information about an act of terrorism.

Safaa normally wore a full-body burka but donned Western clothes throughout her trial in an attempt to convince jurors she had spurned the twisted fundamentalism that made her a so-called 'Sister of Terror'.

Her mother had brought up Safaa and Rizlaine up as strict Muslims in a home that was 'all Islam,' the Old Bailey heard.

Safraa had never met ISIS fighter Hussain face to face, but he persuaded her to send him intimate pictures of herself and they were set to marry in a bizarre Skype ceremony.

Safaa Boular,18, has been convicted of being part of an all-woman terror cell with her mother and older sister.

He instructed her to stab strangers outside the 'cultural jewel and most popular of tourist attractions.'

When it became clear they would never meet after police seized her passport following an airport stop, their focus switched to an attack in the UK.

Rizlaine was shot and wounded by armed police as she and a friend were arrested at an address in Harlesden, north London, on 27 April last year.

Dich was arrested as she visited Safaa at a Kent detention centre later the same day.

Safaa was trained online by her fiancée Naweed Hussain

The mother and Rizlaine admitted engaging in preparation for terrorist acts while another woman, Rizlaine's friend Khawla Barghouthi, 21 admitted failing to disclose information about an act of terrorism.

Safaa normally wore a full-body burka but donned Western clothes throughout her trial in an attempt to convince jurors she had spurned the twisted fundamentalism that made her a so-called 'Sister of Terror'.

Her mother had brought up Safaa and Rizlaine up as strict Muslims in a home that was 'all Islam,' the Old Bailey heard.

Meanwhile, she had contact with a de-radicaliser in December 2016 and signed a form promising not to contact her sister or Hussain, although she secretly continued to speak to both.

In March 2017, just one month before Rizlaine Boular's planned knife attack, the teenager was heard laughing at the Westminster Bridge atrocity, although she denied it.

Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Dean Haydon described Boular as mature for her age, confident and devious in the way she secretly plotted.

But since being held in custody at Medway Secure Training Centre, Boular insisted she had changed.

She told jurors she has turned her back on her radical past and taken to wearing Western dress.

Safaa normally wore a full-body burka but donned Western clothes throughout her trial in an attempt to convince jurors she had spurned the twisted fundamentalism that made her a 'Sister of Terror.'

Her mother had brought up Safaa and Rizlaine up as strict Muslims in a home that was 'all Islam,' the Old Bailey heard.

The girls were allowed to wear just headdresses with Western clothes - until Dich caught Safaa was caught chatting to boys on her mobile phone when she was 13.

The enraged mother forced her to wear a full-length burka and took her phone away.

Image captionCourt illustration of Safaa's mother and sister at an early hearing where they appeared fully veiled, alongside Khawala Barghouthi who admitted a lesser charge

By the time she appeared at her trial, Safaa Boular was a changed woman. While her mother and sister had appeared fully veiled at earlier hearings, the 18-year-old appeared no different to the average teenager. She told the jury that a year ago she had been isolated.

"Since coming to Medway [prison, while awaiting trial], it has given me a chance to speak to people from different backgrounds - boys, people of different faiths and cultures. I am picking up what I can to be the best person I can be, rather than getting it from a book."

The BBC understands that Safaa Boular has responded positively to de-radicalisation support - and some of her answers at trial suggested so.

But that did not mean she was not guilty of a crime.

Throughout her case, Safaa's defence was simple. She had been manipulated and used by a fighter, abused by her mother and misled by her troubled older sister. Unspoken, but hinted as, was a suggestion that she had been let down by investigators who could have extracted her earlier.

But, that's not what the jury saw. They saw a teenager who actively took steps to go to Syria to support a fighter, who admitted in messages she wanted to attack the UK and, when arrested, encouraged her sister and mother to carry on regardless.

Safaa Boular said it was all make-believe - she had even played "James Bond", taking a selfie of herself outside MI6's headquarters.

"It's online - nothing online is real," she told the jury.

But they thought differently - and now she faces a substantial jail sentence.

Boular will be sentenced in around six weeks while friend Khawla Barghouthi, pictured below who admitted failing to disclose information on an act of terrorism is to be sentenced on June 15

Khawla Barghouthi

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Boular also plotted knife attacks along with the gun rampage, and Sainsbury's kitchen knives were seized by police after they were bought by Rizlaine and her mother

Mother Mina Dich helped with reconnaissance trips and bought knives and sister Rizlaine, pictured below planned to carry on the terror attack plans after Safaa was arrested

Knives were found inside the rucksack seized by police after Rizlaine was arrested

Culled from Daily Mail and BBC

My view: It's scary to listen to the voice of the teenager plotting terror, I don't get how a young girl can be so mean, so hard hearted and have no regard for human life. I can't believe how evil the three women are, thanks to the intelligence services for saving lives. There are people alive today because of your efforts.

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