Robert Harneis –TDO- The mother of a French jihadist, promoted ‘emir’, has been condemned to ten years in prison in Paris.
The judge said that the accused, who visited Syria three times, had demonstrated ‘total loyalty’ to the Islamic State and that she helped to strengthen the group’s organization. she said ‘instead of attempting to bring your son home you encouraged him and acted as a recruiting agent.
The judge rejected the defense of the accused that she had only wanted to help and accompany her son, Tyler Vilus, one of the first jihadis from France to go to fight in Syria.
The judge followed the recommendation of the prosecutor, who regretted that the punishment could not be more than the maximum of 10 years.
The accused was a member of a fairground family and converted to Islam in 2012. He first travelled to Tunisia, before working up the ranks of the Islamic State and becoming the leader of a group of French speaking jihadis with the title of ‘emir’. He was arrested in July 2015 and is suspected of having known the perpetrators of the terrorist attack on the 13th November 2015
These attacks were described by President Francois Hollande as an ‘act of war’ organized by the Islamic State.
Shootings and bomb blasts left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded, with more than 100 in a critical condition.
‘Three coordinated teams’ were believed to have been behind the attacks, according to Paris chief prosecutor Francois Molins.
In the days immediately after the attacks, French police carried out hundreds of raids across the country, as the search for suspects continued. Raids also took place in the Belgian city of Brussels.
It is not yet known if the accused will appeal against the conviction and or the sentence.
The French government are under great political pressure to conduct a crack-down on returning jihadis. They may now wish that under President Holland they had not encouraged them by their anti-Syrian rhetoric. It is widely believed that France and other NATO governments turned a blind eye to their nationals going to fight in Syria. At least a thousand French citizens are thought to have joined the anti-government forces in Syria since 2011.