• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Did Frenchwoman buy fake belly to hide bomb?
Photo: AFP

Did Frenchwoman buy fake belly to hide bomb?

Ben McPartland · 23 Dec 2015, 12:17

Published: 23 Dec 2015 12:17 GMT+01:00

The 25-year-old woman, a convert to radical Islam from the French city of Montpellier was arrested by police on Monday and remains in custody along with her 34-year-old partner.

Counter-terror police in Paris have taken over the investigation into the pair, who they believe may have been plotting some kind of terror attack.

Their suspicions were raised when a search of the woman’s home led them to find a fake belly, covered in foil, which investigators believe she may have been intending to use to hide explosives, the regional newspaper Midi-Libre reports.

The technique of female suicide bombers hiding explosives in fake pregnancy bellies has been widely used in the Middle East where the prosthetic stomachs have also been used to hide drugs.

The Frenchwoman came on the radar of French intelligence services when she bought the device on the internet.

She had apparently covered it in metal foil so that whatever was inside could not be found by some metal detectors. A mock up of the fake belly was tweeted out by Midi Libre.

 

The woman herself reportedly told police that the fake belly was to hide stolen goods from shops more easily.

But investigators do not believe her version of events, given that she recently inherited hundreds of thousands of euros and would have had no need for petty theft.

Their suspicions that the woman may have been planning to carry out an attack were reinforced when a search of her home found various Isis propaganda documents, and there was also evidence that she had viewed numerous violent videos placed online by Isis.

A search of her computer also revealed that she had carried out research into suicide bombers and explosives.

Story continues below…

She had also told friends that she intended to travel to Syria to become a jihadist.

No details of what counter-terrorist officers believe she may have been planning have been revealed.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
The nations the French love to make fun of the most
Photo: Romain Seignovert

The British are not the French's top target, believe it or not.

What's the story behind French Neighbours' Day?
Families get together in the northern suburbs of Paris on Neighbour's Day. Photo: AFP

Fuel crisis
Renting a car in fuel-starved France? No need to panic
Photo: AFP

While France's fuel concerns have prompted holiday cancellations, car rental companies say travellers have nothing to worry about.

French soldier knifed by men 'angry over Syria bombings'
Photo: AFP

A French soldier is in a serious condition after being attacked by two men whose motive for the attack appeared to be France's military intervention in Syria.

Opinion - Strikes in France
France is heading into a 'summer of discontent'
Photo: AFP

This isn’t 1970s Britain but France in 2016.

'Don't worry, France is far from running out of fuel'
The area around Paris and parts of western France appear to be the worst hit. Image: Essence smartphone app

French petroleum industry chiefs try to calm fears but trade unions have called for protests and strikes to be stepped up.

French petrol prices rise as companies profit from crisis

French petrol companies are taking advantage of the fuel crisis by putting up the prices of fuel.

Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Photo: L'essence

This interactive map should help you find petrol in France.

Mass brawl at Calais migrant camp leaves 20 injured
Photo: AFP

A huge brawl in the Calais migrant camp leaves 20 people injured, including volunteers.

French fuel crisis latest: 5,100 petrol stations run dry
Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Some 40 percent of petrol stations have run dry in France.

How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
It's Neighbours' Day! But what does it all mean?
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
National
A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
Lifestyle
New map reveals Paris flat prices by Metro station
Culture
Paris: Here's how to find French cinema in English
2,735
jobs available