Mother of 2015 Bataclan attacker jailed for 'financing terrorism'

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By AFP  with Euronews
A commemorative plaque and flowers in front of the Bataclan concert hall on the sixth anniversary of the Paris attacks.
A commemorative plaque and flowers in front of the Bataclan concert hall on the sixth anniversary of the Paris attacks.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Christophe Ena

The mother of one of the 2015 Bataclan concert hall attackers has been convicted of "financing terrorism".

Fatima Hajji was found guilty of sending more than €13,000 to her son and his partner while they were in Iraq and Syria, between 2014 and 2015.

Hajji's son -- Foued Mohamed Aggad -- was one of three suicide bombers who stormed the Paris theatre during the November 2015 terror attacks.

The money had been sent to him while he was "expressing his participation in combat and his desire to die as a martyr", prosecutors said.

Hajji was handed a four-year sentence in total -- including 18 months in prison -- by a Paris court on Wednesday and was also fined €2,500.

The court said she was "perfectly aware" that she was providing "assistance" to her son's actions.

Aggad's partner Hajira Belkhir was also sentenced to ten years' imprisonment in absentia for "terrorist criminal association". She is presumed dead.

Prosecutors say that Aggad left France for left for Syria in December 2013 with his brother, Karim, and other members of the so-called Strasbourg network.

He allegedly maintained regular contact with his mother and other family members in northeastern France.

"In his exchanges with his mother, he indicated that, if he were to return to France, it would only be to commit an attack," investigators had said.

Six of Aggad's relatives -- including his mother and aunt -- were arrested in June as part of a national investigation into "financing terrorism". Only Hajji was charged with any offence.

At the trial, she had denied "supporting the cause" and claimed she was "supporting [her] son, his wife and his future child", who "needed" money "to survive".

Her trial took place as a separate landmark trial is underway in Paris into the 2015 terror attacks that killed 130 people.

Karim Mohamed Aggad was sentenced on appeal in 2017 to nine years in prison for "terrorist association".