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A French ISIS terrorist’s journey through Syria, Libya, and Egypt culminates in a 17-year prison sentence

The French judiciary has sentenced a Franco-Moroccan to 17 years in prison for joining ISIS in Libya in 2016, and her partner was sentenced to five years in prison after convicting them of participating in a criminal terrorist organization.

On Friday, the Special Criminal Court ordered Shuaib Ataf to undergo judicial social monitoring for a period of five years after his release from prison.

The defendant, 42, has been on trial since Monday on charges of association with a terrorist criminal organization due to his many attempts to join a recruitingwork and go to in areas under ISIS control between 2013 and 2017.

His partner, Donia Bentefret, 41, was also tried with him, under judicial supervision since June 2022. The court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment, suspended two years and forced her to a social and judicial follow-up for eight years, and to continue the procedures of the “Individual Support and Social Rehabilitation Program” to combat extremism in open environment.

At the time of issuing the verdict, the court said it “did not want her to be re-incarcerated for not putting in danger to the rehabilitation process”, underlining that the decision came “above all” in the interest of the woman’s two children.

As for Ataf, who has been dubbed the “keyboard jihadist” in his circle, he joined extremist movements a long time ago and joined ISIS. He was expelled from Syria in 2014, so he went in Libya, where the terrorist movement intended to expand its territory and until December 2016 controlled the coastal city of Sirte (in the north) and a large part of the east coast.

His partner and their two young children were secretly imprisoned for months in unhealthy places, mostly moving between Derna and Sabha in northwest Libya, which was in state of war.

Ataf was arrested in May 2017 with the rest of his family, and all spent two years in Libyan prisons before being deported in April 2019 in Egypt and then, the following month, in France.

Shoaib Ataf confirmed during the trial that he did not fight and expressed his displeasure with ISIS.


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