Undercover counter terror officers prevent attack from women ‘filled with hate and toxic ideology'
A mother and her two daughters have been found guilty of planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the UK after speaking to undercover officers about their strategies.
Safaa Boular, 18, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of two counts of preparation of terrorist acts on Monday (June 4) and will be sentenced on a date to be confirmed
Her sister, Rizlaine Boular, 22, and their mother Mina Dich, 44, both previously pleaded guilty to the same offence. They are due for sentencing on June 15.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) launched its investigation into the family in August 2016, when officers spoke to Safaa during a port stop on her return to the UK from Morocco, in which she revealed her intentions to travel to Syria and join Daesh.
Two days later, the two sisters were arrested at a hostel in north-west London after their mother reported them missing.
It was there that they both admitted they were planning to travel to Syria to live under the Daesh regime, but insisted they wanted to live there peacefully, and had no intention to carry out any terrorist acts.
When officers seized their mobile phones, they discovered several conversations between Safaa and a UK national who was fighting for Daesh in Syria, who she was planning to marry.
Further enquiries also revealed Safaa was also sharing Daesh propaganda material online. She was charged on April 12 last year with preparation of terrorist acts in relation to her joining and supporting Daesh in Syria.
While she was on bail, Safaa remained in contact with the person she planned to marry in Syria, as well as fellow extremists, with whom she planned an attack in the UK.
However, the fellow extremists were online role players from the security services, and she began discussing potential targets in central London and how to obtain firearms and grenades.
Phone conversations between Safaa, Rizlaine and Mina revealed how they planned to have a ‘tea party’ – their code for carrying out an attack.
On April 25, officers tracked Mina and Rizlaine driving in and around the Westminster area as they passed a number of major landmarks.
The following day, they went to a supermarket in Wandsworth and purchased a pack of three kitchen knives.
And the day after that, Rizlaine was heard discussing her plans with a friend and describing how she would carry out the attack.
Shortly after 7pm on that day, two operations were launched. Armed officers entered Rizlaine’s address and during the process she was shot.
At the same time, Mina, who was visiting Safaa in custody, was also arrested. Rizlaine was taken to hospital and discharged after three days.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon said: “This investigation started with Safaa, and her attempts to travel out to Syria, marry a Daesh fighter and support their terrorist activity. Having been prevented from travelling to Syria, she then set about plotting an attack in the UK but her plans were being covered by the counter terrorism network and security services.
“After Safaa was arrested and charged, her mother and sister tried to pick up where she left off. But again, working with the security services, we tracked their plans and stopped them before they were able to put them into practice.
“All three women were filled with hate and toxic ideology and were determined to carry out a terrorist attack. Had they been successful, it could well have resulted in people being killed or seriously injured.
“But thanks to the work of the security services and counter terrorism police, their plans never came to fruition.”