Guest Post written by Greg, a PYY regular.
An interesting anti-terrorist trial just finished up. The defendants: at least four men of Arab descent living in a large city, and belonging to a terrorist cell that sent men to Iraq to kill Americans.
The two ring leaders recruited young men with the same objective, according to the prosecutor: making jihad against the Americans in Iraq. They got 8 years in prison, 2/3 of it guaranteed.
One of the men – Mohammen El Ayouni – who managed to reach Iraq and fight against the Marines in Fallouja, lost an eye and an arm there. He claimed to have saved a woman and her children from a bombed house, though, as the prosecutor noted, the house never would have been bombed were it not for the presence of “terrorists” like Ayouni. He got four years in prison.
Two other men were arrested just before their departure for Iraq. Their sentence is three years in prison.
Ayouni’s defense lawyer claimed that these were “above all else, a group of friends who empathized with people who were suffering in a country where American military intervention has killed thousands of civilians.” The defendants claimed without proof that they were tortured while in custody.
The prosecutor, for his part, said there was no doubt about the defendant’s “terrorist motivations” and stressed that “claiming that the American military intervention in Iraq was illegal does not suffice to excuse these men, who adherence to a group that resorted to suicide bombings is incompatible with fundamental international human rights law.”
Prison sentences for men who had not actually picked up weapon. Claims by the defendants of torture and arbitrary detention. Claims by terrorists that they are simple humanitarians. Sounds like a typical trial in the context of the “war on terror.” Except that this trial didn’t take place in New York or Miami or Chicago. It took place in Paris.
(French Text: Here)