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French Girls Arrested in Synagogue Bomb Plot

Two teens behind suicide bomb plot part of ‘network of young Islamists’

Stephanie Butnick
September 02, 2014
Interior of the Great Synagogue of Lyon, France. ("Wikimedia Commons)
Interior of the Great Synagogue of Lyon, France. ("Wikimedia Commons)

Two teenage girls have been arrested for plotting to blow up a synagogue in Lyon, France, JTA reports. The suspects, who are 15 and 17, reportedly planned the suicide bombing exclusively online, connecting through social media, and hadn’t ever met.

A Central Directorate of Homeland Intelligence source told France’s JSS News the two teens, who are Muslim, were “part of a network of young Islamists who were being monitored by security services.”

It’s the latest episode in what’s been an increasingly bleak year for France’s Jews, with Jewish teens being pepper sprayed, tasered, sprayed with tear gas, and chased by an ax-wielding assailant in separate incidents this summer alone. As if to illustrate how intolerable the climate in France has become, more than 400 French Jews moved to Israel en masse in July, at the height of the war in Gaza.

This latest arrest, and the teens’ disturbing suicide bomb plot, are only adding to France’s combustible reality.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.