The story of Safaa Boular seems to be concluded after the shocking reveal of how she was moments away from committing an act of terror in the Capital.
Boular is the youngest female who has been convicted with the UK’s first all-female terror cell in a plot to attack the British Museum on behalf of the so-called Islamic State.
The teenager’s tale of radicalisation involves not only domestic abuse but also brainwashing from a ‘lover’ that she never met in person.
During her trial it was revealed that the teen was gradually exposed to radical extremism through personal circumstances which in turn led her to becoming a potential terror threat.
MI5 kept surveillance of the Boular’s messages with her family members as well as an IS militant who lured her into the plot.
After receiving domestic abuse from their mother, Safaa and her sister Rizlaine were exposed to a more conservative interpretation of Islam.
Due to their mother restricting them the freedoms they had when they were younger, both sisters often felt isolated and would run away from home.
Safaa’s older sister Rizlaine attempted to make a trip to Syria during all this chaos in 2014 but was stopped by the authorities.
With all the restrictions placed on both of the young girls, Safaa started to talk with an extremist twice her age who had moved to Syria in 2015.
By mid-2016 Safaa Boular and Naweed Hussain were having ‘romantic’ exchanges by which both pledged their fealty to ISIL.
After getting ‘married’ through the instant messaging service, Hussain persuaded Boular to attack the British Museum along with two others (MI5 agents posed as IS militants).
Through the correspondence between the US and UK authorities, Hussain was killed in an airstrike but Boular still planned to attack the museum, this time with her mother and older sister.
With enough information to convict, in April 2017 all three women were arrested with the charge of terrorism.
Recently Boular told the authorities that she was on a road to de-radicalisation, but the damage had already been done.
She will be serving a long sentence behind bars.
What the in-depth information of this story shows us is that there are layers to the psychology of terrorists.
Sure, Boular did adopt a highly conservative interpretation of Islamic teachings however the environment around her led to her demise.
A combination of abuse and loneliness was the catalyst to her radicalisation, with a man twice her age brainwashing her with the curtain of love.
This comes to show the vulnerability of our youth today.
More must be done to ensure their security in order to prevent radicalisation.