His mother, his brothers and his two eldest daughters had joined Syria to live in the "caliphate" of the Islamic State organization, but his attempt to join them was stopped at the Turkish border in September 2016. Three years later, Anne Diana Clain is tried, Tuesday 19 and Wednesday, November 20, in Paris, with her husband Mohamed Amri, for criminal conspiracy to terrorist.
Beyond this attempt at departure, the trial promises a dive into the Clain family, described by a former relative as an extremist "sect". The story of an entire family that fell in the late 1990s into radical Islamism and jihadism.
Anne Diana Clain was born in Reunion in 1975. Her parents, Jocelyn and Marie-Rosanne, moved shortly after to Toulouse, where Jean-Michel and Fabien were born. The parents separate and the family moved to Normandy, where his fate will switch. It is indeed in this region that Anne Diana meets her future husband, Mohamed Amri, now 58 years old. The latter influences the whole family who converted from Catholicism to Islam at the turn of the 2000s. "He came at a time when [we] were wondering about creation, why we're here, about what 'There is after death, and he came with all the answers that are found in Islam,' explained the older sister of the Clain brothers during the training, reports Le Monde.
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The three children Clain radicalize little by little, bringing in their wake the wives of Jean-Michel and Fabien. The three couples settled in the Toulouse region where they rub shoulders with the Essid family and the Merah family, as well as the preacher Olivier Corel, the famous "white emir" of the village of Artigat, in Ariège.
Join Syria to live in a "Muslim state"
Anne Diana Clain is the mother of six children born to three different fathers. Three are now major: Jennyfer, born in 1991, Fanny (in 1996) and Ismaël (in 2000). Like their grandmother, Marie-Rosanne, and their uncles Jean-Michel and Fabien, Anne Diana Clain's two eldest daughters are joining Syria, one in 2014, the other in 2016, with their respective husbands. It is therefore three generations of this family that find themselves in the "caliphate" of the Islamic State organization, in which the Clain brothers play an important role.
The latter ensure, from 2015 to 2018, the propaganda to France, via including many messages and "anasheed" (songs) ultra-violent in French, especially after the attacks of Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Hide of January 2015 and to claim the attacks of 13-November. They become that year the "French voice of the Islamic State," note the magistrates, quoted by Liberation, which could "be ignored by members of their family." Jean-Michel and Fabien Clain were killed in February 2019 by international coalition strikes in Baghouz, the organization's ultimate stronghold.
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Anne Diana decided to join Syria in August 2015. With her husband Mohamed Amri, their three children and his son Ismael, from a previous marriage, all minors, they go through Italy and Greece. Before the investigators, she explained that it was about joining her family in Syria to live in a "Muslim state".
Their journey stops first at the Greek-Turkish border. Refused, they retreat to Bulgaria where they will wait for a favorable window for more than eight months. They finally go to Turkey but are intercepted in July 2016 as they prepare to enter Syria. They are incarcerated and then deported to France.
"What is the 13th of November ? What happened ? I do not know who claimed"
This heavy family context could weigh in the judicial balance, the examining magistrates estimating in their order of reference that Anne Diana Clain and Mohamed Amri left knowing perfectly the "terrorist nature" of the organization Islamic State and the high functions propagandists of the Clain brothers.
The defendant wrote in 2018 to her judges to have "learned from her mistakes" after having believed in the "utopia" of the "caliphate", and to be "disappointed" that her relatives "have become so hateful". The court will have to evaluate its sincerity. According to her lawyers, Mes Nogueras and Desrues, Anne Diana Clain "wants to deliver a speech of truth [and] her prison experience allowed her to take a very critical look at the commitment that was hers at the time".
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During the investigation, she said she did not consider herself radicalized and condemned the attacks in her own way: "Are you going to announce Islam to whom if everyone is dead?" As for the texts written and sung by her brothers, she assured not to have realized, blinded at the time, their violence. She had all the same said, listening to the one composed after the attacks of January 2015, that Jean-Michel had "a little pushed the cork". This "anasheed" calling to "hit France" and to "thousands of deaths", "everyone listened, sang, even small," admitted Anne Diana Clain.
Mohamed Amri, meanwhile, went as far as to ask the investigators, in a risky defense: "What is the 13-November? What happened? I do not know who claimed."