The prosecutor’s office in Paris on Friday, April 8, requested five years in prison, including two years in prison, against the French-Syrian imam Bassam Ayachi, for bringing together terrorist criminals in Syria between 2014 and 2018.
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The 75-year-old sheik, who is considered by the Belgian authorities as a veteran of radical Islamism, has been on trial since Tuesday in Paris for his activities in the chaotic region of Idlib. Talk about a mapatypical» and a character «untouchable“, the representative of the National Counter-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) emphasized that the “collaborationof Bassam Ayachi with the French and Belgian intelligence services was “proven“. However, “when he provides information, he is serving a double cause and is not denying his jihadist commitment‘ said the magistrate.
She asked for her conviction for discharging responsibilities within the Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham, which had allied several times with al-Nusra’s front and then allied itself with al-Qaeda during the period. The magistrate was of the opinion that the imam had succeeded in making a “Islamic court” and a “military-religious training camp“, and that he had accommodated in his house young people to whom he had a “significant ideological and religious influenceBassam Ayachi left for Syria several months after the death of his jihadist son, Abdelrahman Ayachi, who fought against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and led a brigade affiliated with the Free Syrian Army.
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Since the start of the trial on Tuesday, the imam has condemned terrorism and attacks and claimed he wanted to support the Syrian revolution and help the French and Belgian secret services. One-armed since an explosion in Syria in 2015, which he attributes to the IS group, he assured that he would join Ahrar al-Sham as “cover“and visited al-Nusra”to surviveboth in this war zone and for information. He is also suspected of having facilitated the arrival in Syria of Hachimi M., who was tried alongside him and against whom the prosecutor had demanded 10 years in prison with a two-thirds safety period.
†Far from the image of the nice nerd farmer he wanted to give (…) he had a career and a jihadist commitment as soon as he arrived in Syria“said the magistrate, speaking of a”proven radicalizationThis 33-year-old computer engineer admitted to having been a member of a group of al-Nusra snipers for a year, but insisted he had never fought and “infiltrate» the group on behalf of Bassam Ayachi. Defense arguments are scheduled for the evening.