Aurélien Chapeau sentenced to nine years in prison because of “the multiplicity of preparatory acts” for an attack

The Paris Criminal Court sentenced, Friday, January 28, Aurélien Chapeau nine years in prison with a security sentence of two thirds. The 16e chamber, which specializes in terrorism cases, found him guilty of “individual preparation to commit an act of terrorism”. Joseph B., a retiree accused in the same case of having sold unauthorized weapons to Mr. Hat but absolved of any terrorist qualification, was sentenced to twenty months in prison, fifteen of which were suspended, thus covering his pre-trial detention . He was absent from the trial for medical reasons, while Aurélien Chapeau appeared in detention. The sentence of Mr. Chapeau, 38, is accompanied by a five-year socio-judicial follow-up, with a treatment order.

The public prosecutor had requested the maximum sentence of ten years in prison for Aurélien Chapeau, the second ultra-right activist to be tried in France for “individual terrorist enterprise”. The first, Guillaume Malaval, arrested in June 2017, had been sentenced to seven years in detention in December 2019 more for his plans for bombings than for his declared intention to kill Emmanuel Macron. He had attracted little attention at the time.

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For Aurélien Chapeau, it’s something else. Ultra-right mass killings targeting minorities, Jews, Muslims or others, have multiplied: in 2018, a synagogue in Pittsburgh (11 dead); in 2019, two mosques in Christchurch (51 dead), an Islamic center in Oslo (one injured), a supermarket frequented by Latinos in El Paso (23 dead), a synagogue and a Turkish restaurant in Halle (1 dead); in 2020, two shisha bars in Hanau (9 dead). The ultra-right has become the main terrorist threat in the United States. In France, it is in full expansion, reinforced by the rise of violent conspiracy in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. About ten investigations were opened by the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT) and fifty-three people were indicted, i.e. “15% of indictments [pour terrorisme] », said the prosecutor Friday at the beginning of his indictment.

Suffice to say that the trial of Mr. Chapeau, a native of Limoges and ex-military, was therefore watched with a certain interest. After the trial, in the fall of 2021, of the small Organization of Social Armies (OAS) for “terrorist association of criminals”, whose leader Logan Nisin had been sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment but without a security sentence, here is the moment to judge a “lone wolf”, a profile of a potential French-style mass killer. This is what the defendant’s defense feared, a trial for example and for edification, A trial to set a scale of penalties.

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