Earlier this month French police arrested two young women from the city of Nice for suspected ties to the ISIS militant Rachid Kassim, the Paris prosecutors’ office said on Sunday.
The teenagers, aged 17 and 19, were being groomed to carry out an attack on “specific targets” in France in retaliation for the recent death of the Islamic State’s spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a source close to the investigation said.
The pair used the Telegram encrypted messaging system to communicate with Kassim, who is suspected of having participated in several attacks or attempted attacks in France.
Security experts have warned that authorities often turn a blind eye to women jihadis because they are not deemed to be a high risk.
Writing in a report entitled Studies in Conflict and Terrorism: Countering Female Terrorism, Dr Karla Cunningham said female terrorism was “rarely acknowledged” because officials “fail to anticipate the emergency and range of female militant actors”.
“We should expect groups like ISIS to either directly or indirectly incite, inspire or direct women to participate in terrorist attacks against targets throughout the world.”
The French teenagers admitted considering the attack, before abandoning the idea, it was reported.
All were in contact via Telegram with Kassim, who is currently located in the Syrian-Iraqi region, according to police sources.
US researchers recently found that female terrorists do a better job then men at maintaining networks and communicating with fellow operatives.
And figures released by the UK government show that female terror arrests are on the rise in the UK.
A record number of suspected female terrorists were detained by British police last year, amounting to 14 per cent of all arrests on terrorism charges.
Jihadi bride Sally Jones is another of the estimated 56 British women and girls who have travelled to Syria to join the blood thirsty terror group.
Among those were three schoolgirls from east London who travelled to Syria last year.
Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase fled the UK and married ISIS fighters in the Syrian city of Raqqa.