French ISIS ‘Squad Leader’ Sentenced to Life By Appeals Court

Cathedral Spires Saint Chapelle Golden Gate Palace of Justice Court Paris France. Saint King Louis 9th created Sainte Chappel in 1248 to house Christian relics, including Christ's Crown of Thorns.
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French Islamic State “squad leader” and recruiter Tyler Vilus was sentenced to life in prison by a French appeals court this week for crimes he committed while with the terrorist group in Syria.

The Special Assize Court of Paris sentenced the 31-year-old to life in prison, an increase compared to the 30-year-sentence he had been given in July of last year for his participation in murders while in Syria from 2013 to 2015.

Vilus was initially arrested in the summer of 2015 in Istanbul at the city’s airport on his way back to France, allegedly to commit a terrorist attack, 20Minutes reports.

The initial court case against the Islamic State squad leader saw him found guilty of participating in the public execution of two prisoners in the spring of 2015, which was recorded by the Islamic State and broadcast as propaganda to the group’s followers.

According to the Canadian broadcaster Radio Canada, Vilus, who took the name Abu Hafs Al Faransi, led a group of several dozen French Islamic State fighters and was a member of the ultra-violent squad of foreign jihadists from countries like France and Belgium who were known to have terrorised locals around the city of Aleppo.

A convert to Islam in 2011, Vilus claimed at his trial that he had converted from Christianity due to a search for stability in his life and said it gave him a course, admitting it was a strict course and noted at his hearing that when he converted at age 21 he did not have the proper perspective before joining radical Islamist circles and later the Islamic State.

Vilus is also said to have had connections to the Jihadists who carried out the Bataclan massacre in November of 2015.

The Bataclan terrorist attack trial has been ongoing since earlier this month,m with much of the focus on the only terrorist to survive the attack and the primary defendant in the trial, Salah Abdeslam.

On the first day of the trial, Abdeslam proclaimed himself a soldier of the Islamic State when asked for his profession by the court.

Last week, Abdeslam told the survivors and the families of the 130 victims of the attack that the entire terror operation was “nothing personal.” the Bataclan trial, which involves 20 defendants overall, is expected to last at least nine months.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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