French jihadist Tyler Vilus, who is believed to be dead, does not renounce his “involvement” in Syria

To open his trial on Thursday at Assizes in Paris, French jihadist Tyler Vilus, who has been tried for crimes committed in Syria between 2013 and 2015, provided a detailed account of his passage in Syria, without ever renouncing his “commitment” to the Islamic State “but minimizes its role.

“The more I moved away from the Turkish border, the more I sink into my conviction and jihad, until the arrival of the border” Syro-Iraqi, French jihadist Tyler Vilus launched, was tried in court in a special conference in Paris for crimes committed in Syria from 2013 to 2015.

At the start of his trial on Thursday, June 25, the 30-year-old man made a long “spontaneous” statement about his stay in Syria, without ever denying his “commitment to the Islamic State” but by minimizing his role, in the “stir” of the war. .

Many details

Thin short braids, muscles shaped by a black polo shirt. Tyler Vilus is very calm, talkative, and tells his Syrian epic like others a journey: he abounds with details of friends or the fate of a burnt child. He slides on the dark corners of the file and corrects by passing some “charges of DGSI”, French information.

From the beginning, he tries to clear the ground and firmly rejects any connection to the perpetrators of the attacks on November 13, 2015: if he admitted to have been in contact with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged chief of the assassination of Bataclan and the Parisian terraces, he has always denied any plans to attack in France – and not charged with it.

Tyler Vilus, French “emir” jihadist from the EI group before the judges

It is assessed for his membership in a terrorist company, for leading a group of foreign warriors and for “murder”, for his presence along with the fines on a scene of public execution in Shaddadi (East) in 2015.

Tyler Vilus is therefore invited to a first spontaneous statement: “My commitment began when I came to Tunisia.”

Divide between jihadist factions in Syria

In the summer of 2011, the young convert participates in the Salafist nebulon which emerges in the first country in the Arab Spring. He admits that he was among the protesters in front of the US embassy, ​​but does not say a word about his outbreak in September 2012.

His first departure to Syria (October-December 2012) logically follows his path: “90% of men who participated in” his mosque in Tunis “have left for Syria”.

“I was going there to fight against Bashar al-Assad, I never said I would do humanitarian work.” Tyler Vilus claims to have joined a katiba (brigade) in a farm, where he exchanges education and lessons in Arabic.

After a brief return to Tunisia, he returned to Syria. His katiba, which “promised allegiance to the Al-Nusra front”, is in the “Aleppo region” (northwest). Tyler Vilus describes the split between jihadist factions, still far from the territorial unity that the hegemony of the Islamic State group will introduce after 2014.

This development leads him to conclude: “There was no political police who could impose coercion. I have always been part of the military police, not political ones.” The point is crucial to him, accused of tracing the violators of the “Caliphate” law, until he supervised the executions.

Tyler Vilus will also punish his membership in the “Al-Muhajireen” brigade (“immigrants”), a squadron responsible for torture and summary executions, of which Abaaoud and future suicide bombers are members of Bataclan.

“When we talk about muhajiroun, we talk about foreigners, not katiba,” he gets annoyed. As for the brigade of “immigrants”, it was “essentially composed of Arabs, Saudis”. French and Belgians “were not at all in the majority”.

“It’s all fantasized”

After Aleppo, he goes to Shaddadi where he does what he “knows how to do”: “I take care of combatants, I observe the facts and hand over to a judge: he is the one who applies the sanction.”

“You can see me on the video about the execution” of two soldiers, he ends by saying and dealing with the crime that can serve him life in prison. The prosecutor appointed him supervisor, in his capacity as “emir” and police member.

“Everything that is fantasized.” He told him that he was there, like everyone else, after leaving the mosque, on the main artery, where they perform publicly “to keep the pressure on the people”.

“At that time,” he said, “I want to stay in jihad but leave Syria.” He reiterates that he will pretend to plan an action in Europe to leave, the “only solution” to save problems for his two wives, who stayed. Judgment of July 3.

With AFP