Place of Birth: Troyes, France;
Tyler Vilus is French Islamic State terrorist accused of overseeing executions in Syria and leading a squadron of foreign fighters whose members went on to commit the 2015 terror attacks in Paris has begun in the French capital.
Vilus converted to Islam in 2011 before travelling to Tunisia where he joined a conservative mosque. He told the court 90 per cent of the men who worshipped there had travelled to Syria.
Vilus first went to Syria in 2012 and then decided to settle in the war-torn nation in 2013, saying it was his intention to fight against the Syrian regime in Damascus.
He has become known as one of the most senior French Islamist extremists for the role he played in Syria from 2013 to 2015, is accused of associating with terrorists, leading a terror organisation and of committing organised murder.
French authorities suspect the 30-year-old man of being a member of the notorious Islamic State morality police in Syria, for which he oversaw executions, as well as directing the Katiba Al Mouhajirine, a foreign brigade of French and Belgian fighters.
Though he denies supervising executions as a member of Islamic State religious police, footage released by the terror group’s propaganda arm in 2015 has shown a man alleged to be Mr Vilus standing nearby as a rebel fighter and a Syrian army soldier are shot in the head.
Similarly, a 2014 video has shown Abaaoud and the other members of the Mouhajirine who were allegedly commanded by Mr Vilus as they desecrated a number of corpses in the Aleppo region before burying them in a mass grave.
He has admitted to being in touch with Abdelhamid Abaaoud who masterminded the 2015 attacks. He also admitted he had fought with the Islamic State in Syria but claimed his role in the terror group had been overblown.
Vilus’s mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2017 after she travelled to Syria three times to visit her son. Given the moniker Mamie Jihad in the French press, Vilus wrote to his mother in 2013 to confirm he had become the head of the Mouhajirine brigade.
Vilus was arrested in Istanbul in July 2015 while attempting to travel on a Swiss passport (Swedish passport reported by some other reports). He was later deported to France. His trial is the first in France of a former Islamic State fighter over crimes committed in Syria.
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