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Alleged Accomplices in Paris Attacks Head to Trial

Five years after French Islamist militants killed 12 people in the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and another militant killed four Jewish men at a kosher supermarket in Paris, 14 suspected accomplices to the gunmen will go on trial this week.

On 7 January 2015, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices, killing 12 people. Their acquaintance, Amedy Coulibaly, killed a female police officer and then four men at a kosher supermarket the following day. In a video recording, Coulibaly said the attacks were coordinated and carried out in the name of the Islamic State, according to Reuters. All three shooters were killed by police in separate standoffs.

The 14 alleged accomplices have been charged with crimes including supplying weapons, membership of a terrorist organization, and financing terrorism. Three of the defendants will be tried in absentia and may be dead; they are believed to have travelled from France to Syria just before the 2015 attacks.

According to Radio France Internationale, there are about 200 plaintiffs, and survivors of each attack are expected to testify. Security will be tight at the courthouse, RFI reported, with metal detectors and screening, even with limited attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This will be the first terrorism trial in France to be filmed. The antiterrorism prosecutors requested the trail be shared on video because of the emotional effect of the 2015 attacks, which “profoundly marked the history of national and international terrorism.”

The court is expected to sit until 10 November.