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JIHADISTS

France’s ‘Mama Jihad’ jailed for 10 years for encouraging jihadist son

A Frenchwoman, nicknamed "Mama Jihad", who tavelled to Syria three times to support her jihadist son was handed a 10-year jail sentence on Friday in the latest case against parents of Isis fighters.

France's 'Mama Jihad' jailed for 10 years for encouraging jihadist son
File photo: AFP

Christine Riviere, 51 was convicted of being part of a terrorist organization.

She was given the maximum sentence her”unfailing commitment” to jihad and for helping a number of young women travel to Syria as part of her attempts to find a bride for her son Tyler Vilus, with whom she was described as having an “inseparable relationship”.

Vilus travelled to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State group. He is believed to have been close to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, one of the masterminds of the Paris terror attacks.

Riviere, who has been nicknamed “Mama Jihad” in the French press, visited him three times in 2013 and 2014.

She told the court she feared he would not return home.

She was arrested in July 2014 as she was preparing a fourth visit.

She was accused of helping him financially but also of sharing his fanatical ideas and was found to have shared jihadist propaganda online, including videos of decapitations.

Her son Tyler was arrested in Turkey in 2015 and extradited to France here he awaits trial.

He conviction comes just a week the mother of another jihadist was jailed for two years after she was convicted of wiring cash to her son in Syria.

Nathalie Haddadi, (see photo below) 43, insisted she did not know how her son Belabbas Bounaga spent the money she wired to him and said the conviction was a “double punishment” for a grieving mum.

“I have trouble understanding how they can accuse me of financing terrorism,” Haddadi told reporters before hearing the verdict.

French woman jailed for wiring cash to her jihadist son

“I helped my son,” she said, while insisting she had never sent money to Syria.

The judge said Haddadi had known “perfectly well” that her son was using the money to travel to Syria and that the sentence was in keeping with “the gravity” of the acts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JIHADISTS

French families sue government over children of jihadists stuck in Syria

The families of several children and wives of French jihadist fighters in Syria have filed lawsuits against France's top diplomat over his refusal to let them come to France.

French families sue government over children of jihadists stuck in Syria
Two detained French women who fled the Islamic State group's last pocket in Syria sit with their children . AFP

The suits, filed in July and September, accuse Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of “failing to provide aid” to people in “danger” at camps operated by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria.

The complaints were filed with the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR), which hears cases over alleged misconduct by former or serving ministers.

It is the latest legal challenge to France's longstanding opposition to allowing the children and wives of suspected jihadists in Syria or Iraq to return home.

The government, which says it considers requests on a case-by-case basis only, has brought back just 17 children since March, many of them orphans.

Critics say the policy exposes innocent victims of the war, many of whom have suffered serious trauma during the fighting and coalition bombardments, to long-term psychological risks.

“The policy of 'case by case' keeps more than 200 children and their mothers exposed to inhumane and degrading treatment, and at risk of death,” the lawyers said

They note that Kurdish officials are also pressing European governments to repatriate citizens who went to fight for the Islamic State group in Syria, as well as their family members.

“It's a political choice not to save these children and mothers being held arbitrarily,” one of the lawyers, Marie Dose, told AFP.

Asked about the lawsuit, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said in a statement that France remained “fully mobilised so that each situation is handled with the children's interests in mind.”

“Our priority is to ensure the return of the most vulnerable orphan or isolated children,” she added.

A similar lawsuit was filed against France last May at the European Court of Human Rights, by the grandparents of two children stranded with their French jihadist mother in Syria.

The boy and girl, who were born in Syria, are among an estimated 500 children of French citizens who joined the Islamic State's so-called “caliphate” before the jihadists' last Syrian redoubt was overrun in March.

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