FRENCH authorities say they have foiled an imminent terrorist attack after arresting three female jihadists accused of trying to blow up the Notre Dame cathedral in the heart of Paris.
The three women were arrested on Thursday after a car packed with gas cylinders was found abandoned near the medieval cathedral.
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Authorities said there was evidence suggesting attempts had been made to ignite the gas cylinders, including a half-smoked cigarette and a piece of material soaked in flammable liquid.
Police identified three women accused of orchestrating the attack. They were tracked down on Thursday, found hiding out in an apartment in the Paris suburb of Boussy-Saint-Antoine.
Heavily armed officers pounced on the female terror cell after one of the women allegedly stabbed a policeman who had been keeping watch on the trio from an unmarked car parked near their apartment.
The same woman had allegedly sworn allegiance to IS in a letter which was later found in her handbag.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Francois Molins said the women were “determined” to launch the attack. Police will allege the women had been “heavily radicalised” and were being guided by Islamic State.
It has since been revealed that one of the women arrested was the fiancee of Larossi Abballa, who killed a senior police officer and his partner at their home in Paris back in June.
It’s understood the woman then became engaged to Adel Kermiche, one of two jihadists who slit the throat of an elderly priest in July.