French teen charged over Telegram app attack plan

Sixteen-year-old allegedly used social media app to spread ISIL propaganda and incite violent acts.

    France has lived under state of emergency for about nine months, since the coordinated ISIL-linked attacks in Paris that killed 130 people [AP]
    France has lived under state of emergency for about nine months, since the coordinated ISIL-linked attacks in Paris that killed 130 people [AP]

    A 16-year-old French girl has been charged in the capital Paris with supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant and trying to plan an attack, prosecutors said.

    The girl, whose name has not been released, was allegedly using a social media app to spread calls by ISIL to commit violent acts, the Paris prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

    A judge charged the teenager with taking part in a "criminal terrorist association" and "inciting to commit terrorist acts through an online communication medium".

    Investigators said the girl was "extremely radicalised" and was the administrator of a chat group dedicated to ISIL propaganda on the Telegram app, which has been used by suspected fighters to communicate, deputy prosecutor Laure Vermeersch said.

    Vermeersch said no specific targets had been mentioned by the teenager, who had no criminal history.

    Investigators are now trying to trace other participants in the chat group to find out if the girl had possible accomplices in her alleged attack plot or in spreading ISIL information.


    WATCH: Backlash - France's New Hardline on Terror


    The girl was arrested on Thursday in the Melun region, a southern Paris suburb, during a police operation.

    It is not the first time an underage girl has been detained in France under suspicion of trying to commit an attack.

    In March, two girls aged 15 and 17 were charged with taking part in a "criminal terrorist association" for allegedly plotting to attack a target, possibly a Paris concert hall, in a copycat attack of November's Bataclan massacre. Investigators said the plot was not at an advanced stage.

    France has lived under a state of emergency for nearly nine months, since the coordinated ISIL-linked attacks in November in Paris that killed 130 people.

    Parliament extended the measure for six months after a lorry attack in the southern city of Nice on July 14, Bastille Day, that killed at least 84 people and was claimed by ISIL.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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