Five Men From Lunel Tried For Taking Part In Events In The Middle East
This past Thursday, five residents of Lunel were put on trial for involving themselves with terrorism. The names of the men were Adil Barki, Ali Abdoumi, Hamza Mosli, Saad B. and Jawad S.
Abdoumi and Barki were accused of going to Syria in the pursuit of jihad and then returning home. Jawad S., Saad B. and Mosli were accused of facilitating the actions of others. In his defense, Barki said that he was given menial tasks by the people who he was working for in the Middle East, and that he returned after a couple of weeks because he was getting panic attacks. Abdoumi completely denies what he is being charged with. Mosli acted as a medium through which would-be jihadists contacted jihadists in Syria. Jawad S. is accused of inciting people to want to be terrorists in a time when everyone around town was talking about doing it. Saad B. drove his sister-in-law to the airport and gave her monetary endowments for her trip when she decided to go to the war zone. Mosli and Saad B. are accused of financing terrorism.
Lunel is a town in France that is located outside of Montpellier, near the Mediterranean. About 26,000 people live in Lunel. The town is in the rural Camargues region. In 2013 and 2014, the town formed a reputation of having a large jihadist presence when about 20 jihadists joined the the war in Syria.
Most of the jihadists were friends who had known each other since childhood, attended the same mosques, trafficked the same fast food place and watched propaganda videos. Some of them were converts.
In Lunel, a lot of people were enthusiastically talking about doing jihad in the Middle East by joining the side that the West considers “terrorists.” Many of the people who were gung ho to get involved, as well as those who were encouraging other people to get involved, had friends and relatives who died fighting in the Middle East.
In wiretapped phone calls from Lunel, people were bragging about how Lunel was a shining star when it came to having a jihadist presence. Some media reports called Lunel a “jihad town,” and compared it to Molenbeek—a suburb in Brussels where known terrorists came from.
Once the people from Lunel arrived in Syria, they involved themselves with the Nusra Front. After the Islamic State seized part of Syria in 2014, they joined that organization.
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