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TERRORISM

Mother: Son’s ‘I am a bomb’ 9/11 top just a joke

A mother who sent her three-year-old son Jihad to school wearing a sweater with the words "I am a bomb" on the front, along with his name and 'Born on September 11th' on the back, told a court on Wednesday it was just to "make people laugh".

Mother: Son's 'I am a bomb' 9/11 top just a joke
Lawyer Gaelle Genoun (right) leaves Avignon's courthouse on December 19, 2012, with the mother of a three-year old Jihad. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Prosecutors at a criminal court in Avignon on Wednesday demanded a €1,000 fine be imposed against the 34 year-old mother Bouchra Bagour and a €3,000 penalty against her brother Zeyad for the offence of "glorifying a crime".

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 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 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 court's verdict is due on April 10th.

CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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