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Notre-Dame de Paris bombing attempt

Coordinates: 48°51′11″N 2°20′59″E / 48.8530°N 2.3498°E / 48.8530; 2.3498
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Notre-Dame de Paris bombing attempt
Notre-Dame de Paris bombing attempt is located in Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris bombing attempt
Notre-Dame de Paris bombing attempt (Paris)
LocationParis, France
Coordinates48°51′11″N 2°20′59″E / 48.8530°N 2.3498°E / 48.8530; 2.3498
Date4 September 2016
Attack type
Failed car bombing
WeaponsGas canisters inside a Peugeot 607
PerpetratorsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant[1]

On 4 September 2016, a car containing seven canisters of gas and pages with Arabic writing was found parked near Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris.[2][3][4]


The car that was meant to be detonated was a grey Peugeot 607 with its license plates removed. It was packed with several gas canisters full of diesel fuel, some of which was used to douse the inside of the car. A lit cigarette was used in an attempt to initiate the explosion, however the fuel did not ignite and the perpetrators left the scene.[5]


"Information we were able to get from our intelligence services allowed us to act before it was too late," said President François Hollande.[6] Inès Madani, accused of leading the bomb attempt, posed as a man under the name "Abu Omar" on social media to recruit jihadis to join her in attacking Notre Dame, and successfully recruited Ornella Gilligmann, a mother of three. According to Gilligmann, she then stopped hearing from "Abu Omar", but was contacted by Madani.[7]

Police also arrested Amel Sakaou, 39, and Sarah Hervouët, 23.[8] All three women were armed with knives.[9] During the arrest, Hervouët, who was "completely veiled",[10] stabbed a policeman.[11] Hervouët converted to Islam a few months before traveling towards Syria in 2015,[12] and was betrothed to Adel Kermiche,[13] one of the terrorists of the Normandy church attack. One of the arrested women was alleged to have had a letter professing allegiance to the Islamic State.[14] Two men said to be connected with ISIL propagandist Rachid Kassim were also arrested in connection with the plot.[7][needs update]


The trial of five accused women commenced in Paris, in September 2019.[15] The accused women were Inès Madani, Ornella Gilligmann, Sarah Hervouët, Amel Sakaou and Samia Chalel, between the ages 22 and 42 all converts to Islam. On 15 October 2019, Madani was given a 30-year prison sentence, Gilligmann a 25-year prison sentence, Hervouët and Sakaou were given 20 years each, while Chalel received five years for helping Madani hide after the failed attack. The Frenchman Rachid Kassim, thought to have been killed in Iraq in 2017, was sentenced to life in absentia.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "L'attentat "déjoué" à Paris était "téléguidé" depuis la Syrie". 9 September 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  2. ^ Hinnant, Lori (7 September 2016). "Gas Containers Found Near Notre Dame". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  3. ^ Samuel, Henry (8 September 2016). "Gas tanks and Arabic documents found in unmarked car by Paris' Notre Dame cathedral spark terror fears". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  4. ^ "French counter-terror police 'foil planned suicide attack at Paris tourist spot'". The Local. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Notre-Dame plot: Five women in court over foiled car bomb attack". BBC. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  6. ^ Adamson, Thomas (9 September 2016). "Prosecutor: Failed Paris car bomb plotted by IS-guided women". Washington Post. AP. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b Chazan, David (17 September 2016). "Paris female jihadist posed as man to recruit other women, as city remains on high alert". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Three women charged over alleged Notre Dame terror plot". ABC News. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  9. ^ Seelow, Soren (11 October 2016). "Terrorisme : Sarah Hervouët, 23 ans, aspirante au martyre". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Qui est Sarah Hervouët, la Varoise qui préparait un attentat". Var-Matin (in French). 13 September 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  11. ^ "French women investigated in bomb case". BBC News. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Qui est Sarah Hervouët, la Varoise qui préparait un attentat". Var-Matin (in French). Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  13. ^ ALISSA J. RUBIN; AURELIEN BREEDEN (October 2016). "Women's Emergence as Terrorists in France Points to Shift in ISIS Gender Roles". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2016. Ms. Hervouët is a convert to Islam, and she, too, wanted to go to Syria, Mr. Molins said. She left for Syria in March last year, but never got there because the Turkish authorities turned her back. Mr. Molins said that she had been betrothed first to the man who killed a police captain and his companion in June in Magnanville near Paris and then to Adel Kermiche
  14. ^ "Three women charged over Notre Dame Cathedral gas canister plot". Sky News. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Tentative d'attentat de Notre-Dame : le procès de cinq femmes s'ouvre à Paris". France 24 (in French). 23 September 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Notre-Dame plot: Five women jailed over foiled car bomb attack". BBC News. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.