• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Jail for mother over son’s ‘I am a bomb’ 9/11 top

Ben McPartland · 20 Sep 2013, 11:20

Published: 20 Sep 2013 11:20 GMT+02:00

A court of appeal in the city of Nimes, southern France, convicted Jihad’s mother Bouchra Bagour and his uncle Zeyad for "glorifying a crime" in relation to the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11th 2001.

“We have to rule that they (the mother and uncle) knew of the provocative nature of the T-shirt,” said the counsel for the prosecution.

She had claimed the stunt was just “a joke” and not been intended to cause offense.

('Je suis une bombe - I am a bomb' : Screengrab BFMTV)

The court handed the mother a one month suspended prison sentence as well as €2,000 fine.

Jihad’s uncle, who bought the sweater for the boy, was slapped with a €4,000 fine and a two-month suspended prison sentence.

The court head how the uncle had bought the top and given it to the mother, who dressed him in it and took him to school on September 25.

Jihad's teacher alerted the authorities and a few days later the town mayor, Thierry Lagneau of the conservative UMP party, asked prosecutors to investigate.

Both of them previously pleaded their innocence in court, claiming they thought the T-shirt would “make people laugh”.

“For me the text is simply my son’s name and his date of birth,” Bagour had said. “It’s a bit different but I thought it would make people laugh.

“My brother gave my son the sweatshirt, I put it on him, and I never thought anything of it.”

For his part, the uncle Zeyad, 29 said: “I had no intention of being provocative or shocking people.

“For me the words ‘I am a bomb’ mean ‘I am beautiful’”.

But his excuse did not hold water with the lawyers for the Mayor of Sorgues.

“Idiocy is often the best alibi to hide our real intentions,” said Claude Avril. “The most scandalous aspect of this is the manipulation of a three year-year-old to convey the words of terrorism.”

The mother and uncle of the boy, who official records show was born on September 11, 2009 and was given Jihad as his first name, were not known Islamists, prosecutors said.

The pair had previously been found not guilty by a court in Avignon earlier this year, but following that decision prosecutors decided to take the case to the court of appeal.

After the appeal judge overturned the acquittal on Friday, defense lawyer Gaële Guenoum said the ruling was “severe, surprising and amazing” adding she was considering taking the to the supreme court. 

Story continues below…

SEE ALSO: Air France pilot's 'joke' about Moroccan king lands him in hot water 

There was another significant legal case brewing in France on Friday after a webmaster became the first Frenchman to be charged with the offence of "provoking terrorism".

The 26-year-old Muslim convert, identified as Romain, was held on Tuesday accused of translating sections of the Jihadist magazine "Inspire" into French.

French translator charged with 'provoking terrorism'

Don't want to miss a story about France? - Then join The Local France on Facebook and Twitter.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French priest murderer: He was a 'gentle' child
Photo: AFP

French police have formally identified the second attacker who killed a priest in northern France on Tuesday. And his mother has said he was her "gentle child".

Johnson hails France in Paris (while speaking French)
French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault (R) shakes hands with Britain's Foreign Minister Boris Johnson (L). Photo: AFP

VIDEO: A British Foreign Minister who speaks French. Fancy that.

Should you really go to the Bayonne Festival?
A bullfighter and a crowd at this year's festival. Photo: AFP

Should people boycott the Bayonne festival in France because it features bullfighting? Many think so.

Le Thought du Jour
Sorry Donald Trump, but 'France IS still France'
Photo: AFP

Donald Trump reckons 'France is no longer France', because his friend said so. We don't agree.

France to create new National Guard 'to protect its citizens'
Photo: AFP

France will soon have its own National Guard the president announced on Thursday as he aims to boost security to protect the French population facing repeated terror attacks.

French teens storm police barracks in hunt for Pokemon
Photo: AFP

The arrival of Pokemon Go in France has landed people in all sorts of trouble.

Corsican militants warn 'Islamist radicals' over attacks
Photo: AFP

Militants warn violent extremists that any attack would be met by a "determined response".

Shareholders revolt sees French exec's pay slashed
Photo: AFP

Renault cuts its CEO's salary after a revolt from shareholders.

Priest killing: 'France was warned about attack threat'
French political leaders attend a memorial mass for the slain priest. Photo: AFP

French authorities had reportedly been warned that the second terrorist behind Tuesday's cold-blooded murder of a priest was ready to act.

Fêtes de Bayonne
France's wildest festival gets underway amid tight security
Festival goers in Bayonne - a sea of red and white. Photo: AFP

Over the coming days around a million revellers are expected at what is arguably the wildest, most raucous and most colourful event in France.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
2,761
jobs available