Brother of Paris attacker gets nine years over Syria trip
PARIS – Agence France-PresseThe brother of one of the jihadists who blew themselves up in the deadly Paris attacks last November was jailed July 6 for nine years on terror-related charges.
Karim Mohamed-Aggad, whose brother Foued was identified after the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks which killed 130 people, was accused of fighting as a jihadist while in Syria between December 2013 and April 2014.
Another six defendants of the so-called Strasbourg group who were in the war-torn country at the same time also received jail terms of six to eight years, of which they must serve two-thirds before having any chance of early release.
The formal charge was criminal association with a view to commit acts of terrorism.
The Paris court also ordered that the defendants, all suspected members of a jihadist cell based in Strasbourg, northeastern France, be added to France’s terror watch list.
Francoise Cotta, Mohamed-Aggad’s lawyer, said he was considering appealing the sentence.
She said the court had “made a decision based on fear in a France that is afraid.”
During the 10 days of hearings in late May and early June, the defendants, now aged between 24 and 27, were anxious to shake off the association with Foued Mohammed-Aggad and the Paris attacks.
They said they returned to France from Syria after witnessing fighting between rebel groups.
They said they had wanted to fight the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and to join their recruiter Mourad Fares but they did not specifically want to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
One testified that their trip had no more than a “veneer of religiosity.”