France's 'Jihadi Gran' sentenced to 10 years in prison for funding terror

Christine Riviere visited her son in Syria several times and regularly sent him money.

French police stationed near Eifel Tower (photo credit: BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)
French police stationed near Eifel Tower
(photo credit: BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)
Christine Riviere, a French woman who both traveled to Syria to aid her ISIS-affiliated son and sent him money, was sentenced to ten years in prison for her involvement in a terrorist organization.
Riviere's son Tyler Vilus, who is thought to be connected to one of the planners of the November 13, 2015 terror attacks that rocked Paris and killed over 130 people, joined ISIS and left for Syria several years ago. Since his departure from France, Riviere visited her son in ISIS-captured territory three times. She was arrested in 2014 as she prepared for a fourth visit.
French media reported that Riviere, in addition to sending money - thus financing a terrorist organization - to her son, she also shared his convictions about ISIS.
''Instead of trying to disengage your son, it seems on the contrary that you encouraged him,'' the judge at Riviere's trial said.
Vilus was arrested in Turkey in 2015 and was subsequently extradited to France, where he is awaiting trial.
Riviere will be joined in prison by newly-convicted Nathalie Haddadi, whose crimes are nearly identical. Haddadi's son Belabbas Bounaga, like Vilus, joined ISIS and left France for Malaysia, from where he subsequently traveled to Syria join ISIS. He was killed in 2016. Haddadi, who was found guilty of financing terrorism, will serve two years in prison. She claims she did not know how he spent the money, though she did admit to sending funds to Syria.
French authorities have estimated that some 2,000 French nationals have left the country to fight alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Reuters contributed to this report.