In the preamble, the commissioner of the DGSI who testifies this Thursday at the trial of the attacks of November 13 as the witness 209SI underlines: “We present to you a finished product. But the survey is anything but linear. It was made of tracks that emerge and sometimes die out. “The reconstruction of the course of the attackers of the Bataclan – who killed 90 people – once their identification made, a task to which he has tackled for two of them,” has been spread over years “, recalls t -he. Police custody of relatives, exchanges of interested parties on social networks at the time, intelligence files, testimonies “not always precise” and “information collected by the coalition on the ground” such as these “enrollment sheets” recovered in Mosul (Iraq), have made it possible to establish some certainties via “a great deal of cross-checking”.
His presentation and that of his colleague 020SI, very dense, shed light on this: this trio of French suicide bombers – Samy Amimour, Ismaël Omar Mostefai and Foued Mohamed Aggad – was forged on the fronts of the Islamic State in Syria, in katibas (brigades) of French-speaking combatants known for their atrocities: the katiba Al Mouhajirin (the immigrants), which became katiba Al-Battar – of which Abdelhamid Abaaoud was a part – and the katiba Tariq Ibn Zyad. This, specifies 209SI, created by a former legion, “is illustrated in many fights in 2015.” Its particularity: it brings together “inghimasis” (infiltrators): fighters equipped with an explosive belt loaded with ‘go behind enemy lines. “If they cannot return, they maximize losses by blowing themselves up,” explains the investigator, who specifies: “The attack on the Bataclan falls within this method. “
The first two, Amimour and Mostefai, Parisians born in 1987 and 1985, “did not know each other before” leaving France together in September 2013 to reach Syria, via Turkey, explains 209SI. The way in which the link was created – perhaps via the jihadist forum Ansar-al-Haqq – until this common departure is not formally established, we understand. The more so as their course is “very different”, between “Amimour the autodidact and Mostefai, who was bathed in a rather fundamentalist environment”.
“A position of leader more than a simple soldier”
The first, described as introvert, capable of treating his parents as “disbelievers”, admirer of Osama bin Laden as “the only one to have made America bend”, had been spotted by the intelligence services for an attempt to leave in land of jihad in 2012. It is by noting that he no longer respects his judicial control and by discovering his passage at the Turkish-Syrian border that the name of Mostefai appears. The latter, raised in “a very rich religious sphere”, would have become radicalized from 2010 in mosques of Chartres, in particular in contact with a Moroccan Salafist. Amimour and Mostefai “cross the border post together: we can assume that they will never leave each other,” says the investigator.
In the area, Amimour, injured in the leg, talks about Louis de Funès and sends photos of a cat to his older sister, but he enlists his younger daughter, who acts as an intermediary for him to provide him with a 17-year-old young wife. He is seen by other jihadists in Hreytan – a town where massacres of civilians were carried out in early 2014 and where the video of Abaaoud dragging corpses was filmed. And in Shaddadi, “a crucial meeting point for the 2015 attacks”. As for Mostefai, the DGSI wonders “very quickly about his level of hierarchical commitment”: his knowledge of Arabic and religion would have enabled him to take “a position of leader more than of a simple soldier” – a leadership that he would have kept until the attack of the Bataclan and that the hostages of the corridor perceived.
“If I go back to France, it’s not to go to prison. It’s to explode everything “
Foued Mohamed Aggad, an Alsatian born in 1992, recruited by the French jihadist Mourad Farès, arrives for his part in Syria in mid-December 2013. On the screen, in close-up, appears his enrollment form: “Fighter”, is – he indicated in this singular questionnaire which mentions the presence of his brother Karim and where we find: “Level of knowledge of Sharia: basic “; “What was your profession before you came?” construction worker ; “Have you done jihad before and where? Non. From Syria, Aggad talks a lot with his relatives, from whom he does not hide anything of his intentions. “If I go back to France, it’s not to go to prison. It’s to explode everything, ”he said to his future wife, a young Strasbourg woman whom he convinced to join him.
According to information from the DGSI, the three Frenchmen meet in Aleppo before joining Raqqah then Shaddadi, “the place of a potential meeting where the attacks of November 2015 were prepared”. In the meantime, they would have fought together at the end of 2014 within the katiba Al-Battar then in the katiba Tariq Ibn-Ziyad. The “operational constitution of the Bataclan trio” ends with what the investigator calls “the blood pact”: the filmed beheadings of hostages, which will be used for the video calling for the attacks broadcast in early 2016. “When we are ready to cut off the head of an unarmed individual is that there is no turning back possible, ”notes the commissioner.
“I am leaving in a week with the permission of Allah … To Mosul and for heaven if God wills it”, indicates to his brother Karim in mid-August 2015 Foued Mohamed Agad, lying to him about his true destination. At the end of August, he bade her farewell. Him, Amimour and Mostefai together take the migrant route. They arrive in Budapest (Hungary) on the night of September 9 to 10, 2015, their last stop before Belgium.