November 30, 2021

At the November 13 trial, the Bataclan commando’s journey to jihad

While waiting to give the floor in January 2022 to those accused of having contributed more or less closely, the specially composed assize court of Paris continues its exploration of the fabric of the attacks and was interested, Friday November 19, on the journey of three French people who did not know each other until a jihadist fate brought them together in Syria, a few months before they entered the Bataclan together, on the evening of November 13, 2015: Samy Amimour, Ismaël Omar Mostefai and Foued Mohamed-Aggad.

Their radicalization, their departure and their stay in Syria, then their return to Europe were the summary of the arid presentations of two investigators from the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) invisible and anonymous. From an adjoining room, “209 SI” and “020 SI” – so were these two figures hidden behind translucent walls on the screens of the courtroom – told three different paths leading to jihad.

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That of the Parisian Samy Amimour first, “A classic schema of radicalization 2.0”. During the investigation, his parents and sisters referred to an introverted son and brother, who began to take an interest in religion as a teenager. Internet was “His only window to the world”, which did not worry his parents: the time he spent in front of his computer was, they believed, the guarantee that their son avoided the bad company of the streets.

All noted a change in behavior at the beginning of the 2010s: Samy Amimour, who became a RATP bus driver in 2012 after a literary baccalaureate, began to evacuate his non-Muslim friends, to watch videos of Osama bin Laden. , to throw away his records and his parents’ bottles of alcohol, to treat them as disbelievers and to consider that France did not allow the practice of Islam.

A “land of disbelievers where we celebrate Christmas”

Unlike Amimour, “Autodidact who builds his knowledge on the Internet”, Ismaël Omar Mostefai “Bathed in a fundamentalist religious environment”. At home, men and women eat meals separately. The boy hits his sister if she doesn’t dress right and denigrates this “Land of disbelievers where we celebrate Christmas and birthdays”. Known to the French intelligence services since 2009 for his membership in the Salafist movement in Chartres, he notably frequents Abdelilah Ziyad, a Moroccan imam involved – and sentenced to eight years in prison for that – in the Marrakech attack in 1994.

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