“When I see myself in the past, I don’t recognize myself,” says Leïla*, 22. Sentenced for terrorist criminal association, the young woman says she broke with the past, as well as with a certain conception of Islam. Exit the veil. “Religion gets me drunk now,” she says. The young woman has come a long way. In the grip of a deep malaise, she approaches at the age of 16 a group of young people in the process of radicalization. “They attracted me by the sentimental. When we talk to them, we feel less alone. That’s how I got closer to…those things. »
She was arrested in August 2016 for creating a Telegram group. “I was asked to do it,” she says, refusing to say more. The comments exchanged on this thread are very shocking, going so far as to welcome the attacks. Leïla, she says nothing of the sort, even takes offense “but, when I tried to moderate things, I was insulted so I stopped”. She is clearly not one of the most radical; no matter, for the investigators, she initiated the account. She was sentenced to four years in prison (two of which were closed). “Fortunately I was arrested,” she says looking back. I needed an electroshock. »
Two years of exemplary detention followed: the young woman took distance learning courses and obtained her baccalaureate. She meets a psychologist and an educator who both insist: “What do you want to do with your life? Another key relationship: the chaplain. “She gave me a softer view of Islam. And encouraged me, too, to think more for myself. “Last pillar: his lawyer. “She listened to me a lot. When I have a problem, I call him. A constellation of guardians who are both strict and benevolent.
Since her release, Leïla has honored all her obligations: she goes to the police station, meets her integration and probation counselor and begins training in real estate. “I wanted to be a flight attendant, but my locker is blocking me. ” She would also have liked to study abroad, like her comrades, ” but I am registered in the file of the authors of terrorist offenses, with Bin Laden and the others. They labeled me ‘terro’, yet I never killed anyone…” The main point is elsewhere: “I’ve come a long way. My dream is to be rid of all that. The obligations weighing on it should be lifted in 2023.