Terror Plotter Receives Nine-Year Prison Sentence

A French citizen received a nine-year prison sentence yesterday from a Paris court for plotting attacks on a nuclear reactor and other sites in Australia, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Feb. 7).

Willie Brigitte, 38, was convicted last month of criminal conspiracy in relation with a terrorist enterprise.

Brigitte converted to Islam in 1998.  He subsequently became radicalized, operating paramilitary camps in France and being trained in weapons use in Pakistan, prosecutors said.

He went to Australia in May 2003 to join a terror group linked to the Pakistani extremists Lashkar e-Taiba, AFP reported.  Authorities who arrested Brigitte found that he had a link to a Web site with information on sites that prosecutors described as possible targets, including a nuclear plant in Sydney, the city's power grid and various military installations.

Brigitte was sent back to France in 2003.  The leader of the Australian terror cell, Pakistani Faheem Khalid Lodhi, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2006 in connection with the plot.

Brigitte has 10 days to appeal his sentence.

"The sentence is grotesque," said one of his lawyers, Harry Durimel.  "This is a pure witch hunt.  No formal proof has been provided of Willie Brigitte's involvement in anything whatsoever" (Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, March 15).

March 16, 2007
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A French citizen received a nine-year prison sentence yesterday from a Paris court for plotting attacks on a nuclear reactor and other sites in Australia, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Feb. 7).