LONDON — A London teenager was convicted Monday of plotting an attack on the British Museum after failing in her ambition of becoming a jihadi bride in Syria.
A jury at the Central Criminal Court found 18-year-old Safaa Boular guilty of preparing acts of terrorism. Her mother and sister admitted helping her, making the case Britain's first involving an all-female cell of Islamic State group-inspired plotters.
Prosecutors said Boular plotted a grenade and gun attack in messages exchanged with an older IS fighter in Syria. She hoped to marry him, but he was killed in 2017.
After Boular was arrested in April 2017 for trying to travel to Syria, she worked to enlist her older sister Rizlaine to carry out an attack. In phone calls with her sister and mother from prison, she used code words that referred to an attack as an "Alice In Wonderland"-themed tea party.
Rizlaine Boular, 22, said she knew "a few recipes for some amazing cakes" for a "proper like English tea party kind of thing."
Prosecutors said Rizlaine Boular bought knives and a knapsack and carried out reconnaissance of London landmarks with the sisters' mother, Mina Dich.
She and her mother pleaded guilty to terrorism offenses. All three will be sentenced later.
"This involved a family with murderous intent, the first all-female terrorist plot in the UK connected to (IS),"Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Dean Haydon said.
"As a family unit, they are pretty dysfunctional," Haydon added.
The British Museum houses important artifacts and art works acquired during the heyday of the British Empire, including the Rosetta Stone and sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens.