- Vilus was accused of involvement in the killing of at least two ISIS prisoners.
- "By not choosing a life sentence, the court decided to leave you a glimmer of hope for you to evolve," chief judge Laurent Raviot said.
- Vilus was described as a key figure in the French-speaking extremist jihadists, and says he knows almost everyone.
A French court sentenced Tyler Vilus, a Frenchman who converted to Islam and fought for ISIS in Syria, to 30 years in prison. The prosecutor had asked for a life sentence for the defendant. It is France’s first successful prosecution of an Islamist militant for crimes committed in Syria.
According to AFP, the main focus of Vilus’ allegations was involved in the crimes of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria between 2013 and 2015. The trial of Tyler Vilus began on June 25 in Paris and ended Friday. Vilus was accused of involvement in the killing of at least two ISIS prisoners.
In a video released by the terrorist group in cyberspace in 2015, two handcuffed prisoners were seen shot in the head, and Vilus stood a short distance away with a gun and mask. Guillaume Michelangelo, the attorney general who has asked for life imprisonment for the defendant, describes Vilus as a key figure in the French-speaking extremist jihadists, and says he knows almost everyone.
The prosecutor also believes that the 30-year-old defendant has not changed since working with ISIS terrorist Islamists. During interrogation, Vilus admitted that he had been in contact with Abdul Hamid Abaoud.
According to French security services, Abaoud was considered to be the mastermind of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. Abaoud was believed to be in Syria for some time before the Paris terrorist attacks, along with the militants of the ISIS terrorist group.
The French “Amir” of ISIS
According to investigators in the case, Tyler Vilus became a member of the “ISIL police” after entering northern Syria, and for some time, “Amir” was a group of French-speaking jihadists. The prosecutor’s office believes that the accused was involved in the “cleansing operation” of terrorist Islamists in Syria, and is proud to take part in the operation, which aims to eliminate “infidels.”
“By not choosing a life sentence, the court decided to leave you a glimmer of hope for you to evolve,” chief judge Laurent Raviot said. “Deep down, I know that when I leave I am going to die. It’s a path with no return,” he told the court. “Spilling the blood of non-believers for him brings jubilation,” the prosecutor said.
Tyler Vilus has also been in the city of Raqqa for some time, the provincial capital of the same name in northeastern Syria, on the banks of the Euphrates River. The city was captured by ISIS jihadists in 2014, and has been the capital of the self-proclaimed Islamist caliphate in Syria for about three years.
Following the expulsion of Islamists from Raqqa, a number of mass graves were discovered in the area, exposing the crimes of the ISIS terrorist group and its “horrific killings” in Syria. The judge did not agree with the prosecutor’s request for a life sentence for Vilus, arguing that a 30-year prison sentence could be a “spark of hope” for his transformation. The court also ruled that Vilus should serve at least 22 years of his sentence in order to seek early release.