(JTA) – A French teenager who wanted to join jihadists in Syria said her handlers instructed her to commit attacks on Jews in France.
The testimony of the 15-year-old girl, who was arrested last month after her parents alerted police to her plans, appeared Thursday in Le Nouvel Observateur weekly. The magazine referred to her only as Lea, which is not her real name.
The report said that she was born to a nonreligious family and raised in southern France.
A juvenile court placed her under arrest and forbade her from leaving the country after her parents read her plans on her personal computer.
The article in the weekly did not say what restrictions if any exist on her freedom of movement or other liberties.
In the interview, Lea said she communicated for months with individuals who contacted her on Facebook. None of them were named. She also met with at least two handlers who allegedly helped prepare fake documents for her ahead of her planned journey to Syria.
But at one point, one of her handlers told her she could not travel to Syria after all and would need to commit an attack against Jews on French soil.
“They told me: ‘it’s no use, you’ve got too much of a record to ever come, so now the action needs to take place in France,’” the girl told the weekly. “They started showing me videos of dead children in Palestine, telling me about the need to act against the Jews.”
According to her testimony, the girl was under pressure to commit a suicide attack against Jewish targets or an attack resembling that of Mohamed Merah, the Muslim radical who murdered three children and a rabbi at a Jewish day school in Toulouse in 2012.
“A woman talked to me about it for the first time. I found the place, ways to get weapons. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to go through with it,” she said.