French 'jihadi granny' followed son to Syria because she wanted to spend time with him 'before he died'

US continues deadly airstrikes in Raqqa in efforts to liberate city from IsisWochit

A French woman nicknamed the "jihadi granny" could face 10 years in prison for following her son to Syria, where he was fighting alongside Isis.

Christine Rivière, from Troyes in eastern France, went on trial in Paris on Thursday (5 October) for travelling to Syria to spend time with her Isis militant son.

The 51-year-old woman has been charged with criminal conspiracy with a view to preparing terrorist acts. She is the eldest of 30 French women who have been arrested on suspicion of having ties with terrorists in Syria.

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In 2011, Rivière's youngest son, Tylor Vilus, converted to Islam at the age of 21. He became radicalised and travelled to Tunisia to fight alongside militants. Rivière followed her son to Tunisia and also became radicalised while out there.

She encouraged Vilus to move to Syria and sent him money, according to court documents obtained by French newspaper Le Monde.

When Vilus told his mother in a message that he was moving up the ranks of Isis, she allegedly replied: "I knew you'd do well, you're made for that."

She also allegedly tried to connect him with several women who were interested in becoming Isis brides, the newspaper reported.

After she had made three trips to Syria, Rivière was arrested in July 2014 when she was about to permanently move to the country.

She told judges that she preferred living in Syria to France "despite the bombings and shootings", the court papers revealed.

"I wanted to make the most of [time with] my son before he dies ... I know that will happen, of course, and if it does I'll be happy for him because I know what that means for him. I know he will have a place in paradise... I want what he wants, like every good mother," Le Monde quoted her as saying.

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She reportedly denied fighting for Isis and said that she had only ever supported her son financially, not the terrorist group.

Vilus was arrested a year after his mother, in July 2015 in Turkey. He is being held in a French prison awaiting trial.

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