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TERRORISM

Women terror suspects had ‘aimed to attack Gare de Lyon’

Three women arrested to the south of Paris on Thursday night were preparing a terror attack against the Gare de Lyon train station and police officers, sources have told French media.

Women terror suspects had 'aimed to attack Gare de Lyon'
Photo: AFP

On Thursday night French police investigating an abandoned car containing six gas cylinders left near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris arrested three female suspects said to have been planning fresh attacks, shooting one of them in the process.

Speaking on Friday President François Hollande said the terror cell “has been destroyed”.

The arrests of the three “radicalised” women aged 39, 23 and 19-years-old came after intelligence services had warned police on Thursday that an attack was imminent. 

A message sent around police forces mentioned the possibility of a suicide attack at a train station in Paris or on the commuter RER D line. 

According to a police source cited by BFM TV the three arrested suspects having declared allegiance to Isis, were planning on targeting Gare de Lyon in Paris as well as police officers.

It is believed they wanted to carry out a suicide bombing.

However this claim has not been confirmed by authorities but Interior Minister Barnard Cazeneuve said on Thursday that they were preparing “new violent … and imminent actions” and spoke of a “race against time” to avert the threat.

The principal suspect named as Ines Madani, aged 19 years-old, was the daughter of the owner of the car, found abandoned and full of gas cylinders near Notre Dame. It emerged on Friday she had pledged allegiance to Isis. Her father was also known to police for being radicalized.

When she was arrested she pulled out a knife and stabbed the police officer, who responded by shooting her in the leg.

A policeman responded by shooting one of the suspects in the leg. All three suspects were found to be carrying knives.

A local resident who saw the women just before their arrest in Boussy-Saint-Antoine ( see point on map), south of Paris, said they “seemed anxious, looking around them all the time”.

(Photos below show police in Boussy-Saint-Antoine after the arrests were made. AFP)

(AFP)

Four people — two brothers and their girlfriends — were already in custody over the car, found just a few hundred metres (feet) from the Notre Dame cathedral in central Paris, an area always thronged with tourists.

The first couple arrested, a 34-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, have been held since Tuesday and are known to the security services for links to radical Islamists.

Police arrested the man's brother and his girlfriend, both aged 26, late Wednesday.

Authorities had said earlier they were searching for the two daughters of the owner of the grey Peugeot 607 abandoned on Sunday near Notre Dame, which draws millions of visitors every year.

A bar employee working near Notre Dame had first raised the alert on Sunday after noticing a gas cylinder on the back seat of the parked car, police said.

The car had no number plates and its hazard lights were flashing.

Although the cylinder on the back seat was empty, five full cylinders were discovered in the boot.

Three bottles of diesel fuel were also discovered in the vehicle, but police found no detonators.

“If it was an attack plot, the method was very strange,” a police source said Thursday.

Unconfirmed reports on Friday said the women had tried to set the car ablaze but did not want to die and so fled the scene.

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CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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