PARIS (Reuters) - The brother of one of the Islamist attackers who killed 130 people in Paris was sentenced to nine years’ jail on Wednesday for traveling to Syria to train as a militant fighter.
Karim Mohammed-Aggad was one of a group tried over a trip to Syria in December 2013. His brother Foued was one of the three men who killed 90 people in the Bataclan rock concert hall as part of a broader assault in and around Paris that killed 130 people in November 2015.
Karim and six others, aged 24 to 27, were tried on charges of taking part in an Islamist recruitment network and receiving training from the Islamic State group, whose strongholds in Iraq and Syria are being bombed by French fighter jets.
A public prosecutor had requested that Karim Mohammed-Aggad be sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Citing evidence gathered from wiretaps and from “jihad” documents found in the computers and mobile phones of the suspects, public prosecutor Nicolas Le Bris said during the trial each of the seven involved was determined to join a jihadi group and once in Syria “fitted in perfectly”.
Karim Mohamed-Aggad sought to distance his case from that of his brother during the trial, saying at one point: “You choose your friends, not your family.”
Some of defendants told investigators they had believed they were going to Syria on a humanitarian mission. Others said they left to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces but not to become Islamist militants.
(This version of the story corrects paragraph two to say November 2015, instead of November 2012)
Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Andrew Callus and Kevin Liffey