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Paris gas suspect pledged loyalty to IS

AAP logoAAP 8/09/2016 Lori Hinnant

A failed attack involving a car loaded with gas canisters near Notre Dame Cathedral was spearheaded by a group of women including a 19-year-old whose written pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State group was found by police, a security official says.

The teen, Ines Madani, stabbed a police officer with a knife and was shot in the leg on Thursday night in a raid south of Paris.

France's interior minister described the pursuit as "a race against time'' to find Madani and the two women with her before they struck. Another of the women had, at one point, been in close contact with the extremist who killed two French police officials earlier this year before he was shot to death, two officials said.

A man arrested on Thursday also had ties to the dead jihadi, Larossi Abballa, who filmed himself on Facebook Live pledging allegiance to Islamic State as he sat in the home of the dead officials, one of the officials said.

Security in train stations around Paris was visibly higher on Friday as the investigation widened.

"There's a group that has been annihilated, but there are others,'' French President Francois Hollande said. "Information we were able to get from our intelligence services allowed us to act before it was too late.''

One of the security officials said French authorities found a note on Madani declaring allegiance to the extremist group, which has called on followers to attack France.

Another official said Madani had pulled a knife during the raid outside a small apartment building near the Boussy-Saint-Antoine train station.

In video filmed by a neighbour, a veiled woman, her face uncovered, is seen being carried away by police as she cries out `"Allahu Akbar''.

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