Teenage terrorist given two life sentences is behind bars


The youngest woman ever to be convicted of plotting terrorist activities on UK shores has been jailed for 13 years.

Safaa Boular, 18 (pictured far left), of Vauxhall, was given two life sentences after she planned a terrorist attack in London with her mother, Mina Dich (pictured right) also of Vauxhall, and her sister, Rizlaine Boular (centre).

The family used code language, referring to their planned attack as a “tea party”, and Safaa talked about using grenades, which she called “pineapples.”

The Met launched its investigation in August 2016 when police officers spoke to Safaa on her return to the UK from a trip to Morocco.

Safaa – who was 16 at the time – indicated that she was planning to travel to Syria to join Daesh.

Two days later, on August 22, Mina reported her daughters as missing.

Police found and arrested Safaa and Rizlaine at a hostel in north-west London.

Both admitted that they were planning to travel to Syria in order to live under the Daesh regime, but insisted they simply wanted to live there peacefully and had no intention to carry out any terrorist acts.

Officers seized mobile phones and digital devices from the sisters and they found several conversations between Safaa and a UK national who was fighting for Daesh in Syria.

The conversations showed that Safaa was, in fact, planning to marry the Daesh fighter and included discussions between them about her wearing a suicide belt.

Safaa was also sharing and supporting Daesh propaganda material online. Safaa was then charged on April 12, 2017 with preparation of terrorist acts in relation to her plans to join and support Daesh.

But, while she was on police bail, Safaa remained in contact with the person she planned to marry in Syria.

It was during this time on bail that Safaa shifted her attention from travelling out to Syria to committing an attack in the UK.

Unbeknown to Safaa, people she was discussing her attack with online were not fellow extremists, but online role players from the security services.

Believing she was communicating over encrypted and secure apps, Safaa discussed her plans and desire to get hold of firearms and grenades, or ‘pineapples’ as they referred to them.

She also discussed with them potential targets in London and the possibility of using a vehicle and knife to carry out an attack.

After Safaa was charged, she remained in touch with her mother and sister. It was during this time that both Mina and Rizlaine hatched their own plans to carry out an attack.

Various telephone conversations between Safaa, who was in custody, her sister and their mother were recorded, during which they discussed plans to have a ‘tea party’ – their code for carrying out an attack.

These conversations continued for around two weeks. On April 25, 2017, officers tracked Mina and Rizlaine driving in and around the Westminster area.

They passed a number of major landmarks as they carried out what officers believed to be reconnaissance on potential locations for their attack.

The following day, both Mina and Rizlaine went to a supermarket in Wandsworth, where they bought a pack of three kitchen knives.

Officers recovered the receipt for the knives after Mina threw it away and also retrieved the pack of knives and an old rucksack after Mina discarded the items in a bin on her journey home that evening.

Tellingly, the largest of the knives had been retained by Rizlaine – officers believed this was the weapon she was planning to use in her attack.

On April 27, 2017, Rizlaine was heard discussing her attack plans with a friend, Khawla Barghouthi, at her home in north-west London, describing how she would carry out the knife attack.

Shortly after 7pm that day, armed officers entered the house to arrest Rizlaine and Khawla. Rizlaine was shot by police. She was taken to hospital for treatment and discharged three days later.

At the same time, Mina, who was visiting Safaa in custody, was also arrested.

Following their arrest, detectives recovered electronic devices from both Rizlaine’s and Mina’s address, on which they found Islamist extremist content, including Daesh propaganda and Al Qaeda-related material.

Rizlaine was sentenced to life at the Old Bailey on June 15. Mina was sentenced to 11 years and nine months. Safaa was sentenced on August 3.

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