up to 30 years of imprisonment required in the "female jihad" trial


In September 2016, Ornella Gilligmann and Ines Madani had parked a car filled with gas cylinders in a street near Notre Dame and tried to set it on fire.

The World with AFP Posted today at 19h28, updated at 22h09

Time to Reading 3 min.

This judicial sketch made on September 23, 2019 at the Paris law courts shows (from left to right) Ines Madani, Ornella Gilligmann and Sarah Hervouët during the trial of the failed attack near Notre-Dame.
This judicial sketch made on September 23, 2019 at the Paris law courts shows (from left to right) Ines Madani, Ornella Gilligmann and Sarah Hervouët during the trial of the failed attack near Notre-Dame. BENOIT PEYRUCQ / AFP

They are the "Face of the feminine jihad" : Sentences ranging from twenty to thirty years' imprisonment were required on Thursday, October 10, before the Paris Special Assize Court against four women, three years after a failed attack near Notre Dame.

They have been "The armed arm" of the Islamic State group (IS) and showed "An unwavering determination", said the general counsel in the introduction of the indictment. She mentioned the"Maximum commitment" these jihadists, who had pledged allegiance to the IS and sent videos of claims of future attacks. "They were driven by this desire to kill. "

On the night of September 3 to 4, two of them, Ines Madani and Ornella Gilligmann, parked a car filled with gas cylinders in front of restaurants near Notre-Dame and tried to burn it with diesel fuel. The choice of this fuel impossible to ignite with a match has prevented a deadly explosion.

After the failure of this attack, Ines Madani had entrenched herself at Amel Sakaou in Boussy-Saint-Antoine (Essonne), guided by Rachid Kassim, propagandist of the IS. Both had been joined by Sarah Hervouet. On the 8th of September, knowing that they were stalked by the police, the three women left the apartment armed with kitchen knives. Sarah Hervouët then stabbed a plainclothes policeman.

This case had revealed the active role of women in jihad, ready to commit an attack in France failing to leave for Syria or Iraq. "If the gas bottles had exploded, if victims had died (…), the question of punishment would not be asked: it would be natural to pronounce criminal imprisonment for life "explained the general lawyer, Jean-Michel Bourlès. "The sanction should not be in the symbol", he added.

"These bottles were not for a barbecue! "

Unsurprisingly, the heavier requisitions target Ines Madani: thirty years with a two-thirds safety period. His age at the time of the act, 19, is "The only element" which leads the prosecution not to require perpetuity. Ines Madani "Must know that society believes that it is capable of evolving"added Jean-Michel Bourlès in this indictment with two voices.

His colleague, who does not want his name mentioned, mentioned a "Total blindness for ideology" jihadist, while calling Ines Madani "Dreadfully smart" : between the 4th and the 8th of September 2016, "She will not make any mistake (…). At no time will it falter or surrender to put an end to this deadly journey ".

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Ornella Gilligmann, who claims to have voluntarily failed the car bomb attack, is far from having convinced the Advocates General, who point out his "Inconsistencies". "They both bought bottles, and it was not for a barbecue! ", said Jean-Michel Bourlès. Twenty-five years of imprisonment, with a two-thirds period of security, are required against this mother of three.

Against Sarah Hervouët, the prosecution claimed twenty years of imprisonment with a two-thirds security period. "Blood has flowed in this file and it is Sarah Hervouët who is the author"said the general counsel. "We can not make too risky bets. Proof of disengagement (radical Islam), it's up to Sarah Hervouët to bring it. "

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also At the trial of the failed attack on Notre-Dame: Sarah Hervouët, itinerary of an aspiring martyr

"Jihad is his life"

Even requisition against Amel Sakaou, who refused to attend his trial since its opening. Against Samia Chalel, accused of helping Ines Madani to find a base after the failed attack, the prosecution required ten years of imprisonment.

Two men also appear in this folder. Rachid Kassim, "The one without which nothing would have happened", is judged by default because he would have died in Iraq in 2017. He has "The most important role", for Jean-Michel Bourlès, who asks for perpetuity.

Mohamed Aberouz, tried for non-denunciation of crime, is also suspected of having participated in the double jihadist assassination of police in Magnanville in 2016. "It's the most dangerous", according to the General Counsel, who requested the maximum sentence of five years imprisonment. "Jihad is his life! "she concluded.

The trial, which began on 23 September, continues on Friday with defense pleadings. Verdict expected Monday or Tuesday.

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