Safaa and Rizlaine Boular and their mother Mina Dich were found guilty of plotting a London terror attack.
Safaa and Rizlaine Boular and their mother Mina Dich were found guilty of plotting a London terror attack.

How an ordinary teenager became a terrorist

WITH her gushing Facebook posts on Drake and the Twilight movies, Rizlaine Boular appeared to be like any other UK schoolgirl.

She bragged about holidays abroad, uploaded photos of herself in the park and moaned about getting her science homework done, reports The Sun.

But just a few years later she found herself lying down on the ground having been shot by armed police who stormed a North West London home fearing she was about to unleash carnage.

While other girls her age would go on to seek a life of friendship and fun, Rizlaine slipped into a downward spiral of extremism that has ended with her, her mum Mina Dich and sister Safaa facing years behind bars for being part of a chilling "Mad Hatter" terror team.

On Monday Safaa was found guilty of preparing for acts of terror. Rizlaine and her mum had both earlier pleaded guilty.

The mugshot sent out by police marked a stark fall from grace for the older sister who at age 14 thought of little more than her favourite rap star.

In one Facebook post in 2010, Rizlaine wrote: "OMG!!! lov[e] drake!!!!!" and uploaded an entire album of images of the superstar.

In another she talked about Hollywood heart-throb Taylor Lautner going topless in his hit movie Twilight: New Moon.

The teen posted: "New Moon was absolutely amazin … Taylor topless full screen ahhhh! He was sooo sexiie."

Actor Taylor Lautner in a scene from film The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Actor Taylor Lautner in a scene from film The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

But within a matter of years she would be using social media for something altogether more sinister - plotting bloodshed.

During sister Safaa's trial the dysfunctional nature of her family was revealed with the court hearing how mum Mina Dich forced extreme views on the pair.

Diabetic Safaa - who maintained a good relationship with her father - accused Dich of being violent, domineering and vindictive.

The court heard how Dich would throw mugs at the pair and spit at them.

The two sisters grew up in a Thames-facing flat in Vauxhall, south London, just across the road from the headquarters of MI6.

Originally a non-religious household, as the girls grew up Dich adopted a conservative version of Islam, using online instructions to guide her.

And within a matter of years she began lecturing her daughters about the need to cover themselves and wear traditional Islamic dress.

When Rizlaine was 16, Mina discovered her daughter was talking to a man online and in a fury assaulted her, prompting Rizlaine to run away.

A friend of the teenager told The Times that everything changed for Rizlaine around this time after she slept with a boy from school and was left devastated when he brushed her off.

The female friend, who did not want to be named, said: "The trouble all stemmed from that relationship.

"She felt really let down. And she wasn't a virgin anymore, which is a big deal in Islam."

Ditch also reacted strongly when she discovered Safaa spoke to boys from her school on the phone and duly confiscated it.

Twice-divorced Dich pressured the girls to abandon their Western lifestyle and follow her extremist beliefs.

She married Rizlaine off to a local imam old enough to be her father and banned Safaa from listening to music and watching television and forced to view extremist YouTube videos.

The girls' dad Adil Boular, 52, who left teaching assistant Dich in 2006, is adamant his ex-partner is where the blame lies.

The taxi driver said: "Whatever they have done so far, they've done to please their mother.

"They will say anything to make their mother happy."

After the November 2015 Paris attacks, Safaa began investigating what IS was about online and began speaking to hundreds of activists online.

She told her trial: "It was special, it was exciting. I was not allowed to go out with my friends from school - so to have these friends was exciting."

One of the activists she met was Naweed Hussain, 32, from Coventry who went to Syria in June 2015. The pair enjoyed an online romance, sometimes talking for up to 12 hours a day.

The schoolgirl initially planned to join him in war-torn Raqqa where they would carry out a suicide attack and die "holding hands".

But her plans were foiled when Hussain was killed in an air strike and she was arrested after a family holiday to Morocco.

She then encouraged her sister Rizlaine Boular, 22, and mother, Mina Dich, 44, to carry out a knife attack in Westminster in order to "carry the torch forward".

They called their planned atrocity the Mad Hatter's Tea Party during conversations monitored by MI5.

The day before Rizlaine was arrested she and her mum bought a knife with a six-inch blade from Sainsbury's.

Safaa was found guilty on Monday, after her mum and sister had previously admitted the charge.

She had argued that it was all make-believe and had told the jury: "It's online - nothing online is real."

Mr Boular said after the guilty verdict: "My daughters were failed by their mother."

This story first appeared in The Sun.