Widow of Bataclan attacker jailed in France after repatriation: Sources

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The widow of one of the extremist attackers who stormed the Bataclan concert venue in Paris in November 2015 has been repatriated to France and charged with associating with terrorists, sources close to the case said on Wednesday.

The woman, identified as Kahina El H., was among a group of 51 women and children brought back from detention camps in northeast Syria, where they have been held since the fall of the ISIS group.

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The repatriations are hugely controversial in France, which has largely refused to bring citizens accused of joining terrorist groups in Syria or Iraq to return home to face justice, citing security risks.

The European Court of Human Rights condemned France on Wednesday over its refusal to repatriate two of its female citizens from Syria, where they are being held after travelling to the country to join their Islamist partners.

French authorities should re-examine the request by the women’s parents to allow them to return home, the court said. The government has long refused such a move, saying extremist fighters and their families must face local justice.

The parents, supported by rights groups, have sought in vain for approval to bring them home from French authorities, which until July had returned only a handful of women and children on a “case by case” basis.

The women returned in July have all been charged and jailed ahead of trial, and their children placed in foster care.

According to court filings from March 2020, Kahina El H. married Samy Amimour, one of the three men who massacred dozens of people during a concert at the Bataclan on November 13, 2015, soon after arriving in Syria in October 2014.

A few weeks later, she allegedly sent a video to Amimour’s sister where she threatened “to return to France to slit the infidels’ throats,” and later appeared in a photo carrying a machine gun.

Three days after the Bataclan killings, part of a night of extremist terror attacks that left 130 people dead in the French capital, Kahina El H. also sent an email to a friend identifying Amimour as her husband and praising his actions.

Also among the women returned in July was Emilie Konig, a notorious French female extremist who is on the UN’s black list of the most dangerous terrorists.

Read more: Suspected ISIS member, Bataclan attack perpetrator arrested by Italian police

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