In April 2021, this 40-year-old former multiple offender was sentenced to 24 years in prison. He is retried for nearly five weeks, alongside four other defendants.

White shirt and black jacket placed on the shoulders, Reda Kriket declined in a clear voice his identity, before sitting down in the box near the two men with whom he is suspected of having formed the “operational trio” of a jihadist cell: Anis Bahri, 38, and Abderrahmane Ameuroud, a 44-year-old Afghan jihad veteran.

At first instance, they had also been sentenced to 24 years of criminal imprisonment, accompanied by a two-thirds security period.

On March 24, 2016, two days after the attacks in Brussels, an arsenal of war was discovered in an apartment that Réda Kriket rented under a false name in Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise).

Réda Kriket has always contested any plan for violent action. At first instance, he claimed to have wanted to commit a robbery.

A thesis excluded by the court at the end of the first trial, due to the size of the arsenal: a total of thirteen weapons, including five assault rifles and a submachine gun, a quantity of ammunition, explosives, as well as thousands of metal balls.

Neither the nature of the attacks envisaged, nor the targets, nor the “moment” could be determined “with precision”, had however noted the court, insisting on the “many persistent gray areas” of the file.

She also considered that “no element (allowed) to affirm that it was an attack directly planned from Syria by the Islamic State organization”, as argued by the prosecution.

The investigation with drawers and European ramifications began in November 2015 with the arrest in Turkey of two men, about to go to Syria according to the authorities.

The investigators went back to Anis Bahri then Réda Kriket, then wanted in Belgium after a conviction in his absence in a terrorist file.

Two other men, accused of logistical support, are retried. One of them, acquitted at first instance, appears free.