BAGHDAD, May 28, (AP): An Iraqi court on Tuesday sentenced two highprofile French members of the Islamic State group to death, bringing the total number of French former jihadis condemned to death this week to six. France said it would do all it can to spare the group from execution in Iraq. Although it has made no effort to bring back the captured fighters, France is outspoken against the death penalty globally.
The sentencing in Iraq come amid a controversy about the legal treatment of thousands of foreign fighters who had joined IS at the height of its power in Syria and Iraq when the militant group declared its self-styled caliphate. The men sentenced to death Tuesday were identified as Karam Salam Mohammed El-Harchaoui and Brahim Ali Mansour Nejara. They are among a group of 12 French citizens who were detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in neighboring Syria and handed over to Iraq in January.
The Kurdish-led group spearheaded the fight against IS in Syria and has handed over to Iraq hundreds of suspected IS members in recent months. Nejara, 32, helped run one of the networks that sent Europeans to join the Islamic State group and appeared in a video a week after the November 2015 attacks in Paris. The video was titled “Paris has collapsed” and shows a fictitious destruction of the Eiffel Tower, according to Jean-Charles Brisard of the Center of the Analysis of Terrorism.