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the “trial of the century” with its 20 defendants opens – RT in French

Salah Abdeslam, walled in his silence, is the only assailant still alive from the jihadist cell of November 13th. Most of the remaining defendants were used for logistical purposes. Some are dead and only one is on the run.

A historic trial and even the “trial of the century”, as it is called in the corridors of the Palace: 20 individuals are sent back to the special assize court in Paris to be tried from September 8 for their participation in the trials. Paris and Saint-Denis attacks of November 13, 2015.

This historic trial is to last nine months and a gigantic courtroom for 500 people has been specially built inside the Palais de Justice in Paris in the Salle des Pas Perdus. An XXL security system is also planned on the Ile de la Cité, with areas subject to strict controls and vehicle bans on certain roads.

With nearly 1,800 civil parties formed, more than 300 lawyers, journalists and the public expected in large numbers, the management of traffic flows is one of the major concerns of the Court of Appeal, in a context of high terrorist threat. .

Among the 20 accused, Salah Abdeslam, mutic

Among the accused, only one assailant is still alive after these terrorist attacks: Salah Abdeslam. Only 14 defendants will be physically present at the hearing, three of whom will appear free and six will be tried by default. Five of them are presumed dead.

Franco-Moroccan Salah Abdeslam was born on September 15, 1989 in Brussels. He was close to Abdelhamid Abaaoud (one of his childhood friends), himself coordinator of several attacks in Europe and operational chief of the November 13 commandos. Abdeslam’s brother Brahim blew himself up at Comptoir Voltaire in Paris, while Salah ditched his explosive belt during the evening after bringing accomplices to the Stade de France.

The reasons for this decline have yet to be defined by the courts while Salah Abdeslam has shown profound silence since his arrest. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Belgium for shooting at police officers in March 2016. He will also be tried for the Brussels attacks which killed 32 people in March 2016.

Belgian-Moroccan born in 1984, Mohamed Abrini is for his part on trial for having conveyed the terrorist commando to Ile-de-France and having contributed to the financing of the attacks, as well as to the supply of weapons.

He is a childhood friend of the Abdeslam brothers. He was arrested in Brussels in April 2016, a few weeks after Salah. He also took part in the Brussels attacks and inherited the nickname “man with a hat” at the time of his hunt.

Mohammed Amri, 33, a Belgian-Moroccan close to the Abdeslam brothers, admitted to picking up Salah Abdeslam by car on the evening of the attacks to bring him back to Belgium knowing that he was involved in the attacks. Arrested in Belgium on November 14, he was extradited in July 2016 to France where he has been imprisoned since that date.

Some defendants appear free

Hamza Attou, himself, appears free under simple judicial control: this 27-year-old Belgian-Moroccan had accompanied Mohammed Amri to go and fetch Salah Abdeslam in Paris. He was first imprisoned before being released in May 2018.

Yassine Atar, Belgian-Moroccan, 35, is suspected of having held a key to the Brussels hideout where Salah Abdeslam took refuge after the attacks. It is also in this hideout that the explosive belts used in Paris were made. Arrested in Brussels in March 2016, he was extradited in June 2018 to France, where he is imprisoned.

Sofien Ayari, Tunisian born August 9, 1993, was Salah Abdeslam’s companion in Belgium. He joined the Islamic State group in Syria at the end of 2014, before returning to Europe in 2015, accompanied by Osama Krayem and Ahmad Alkhad. Arrested in Brussels at the same time as Salah Abdeslam in March 2016, he has already been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Belgium for having shot a police officer. His DNA was found in several hideouts that were used in the preparation of the November 13 attacks. Investigators suspect him of having wanted to commit or prepare, with Osama Krayen, an attack at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport in parallel with the Parisian attacks.

Of Swedish nationality, Osama Krayem, 29, joined Syria in 2014 and then returned to Europe by the migrant route. Like Sofien Ayari, he was Salah Abdeslam’s companion in Brussels after the November 13 attacks. Detained in Belgium since April 2016, he was identified as one of the executioners of the Jordanian pilot assassinated by Daesh in early 2015 in Syria. He is also involved in the attacks of March 22, 2016 in Brussels. He was transferred to France for the trial.

Mohamed Bakkali is for his part considered as one of the logisticians of the commando: he is accused of having rented cars for the attacks. Detained in France since 2018, this 34-year-old Belgian-Moroccan, born April 10, 1987, is also being prosecuted for the rental, under a false identity, of hideouts for the jihadist cell in Brussels. In addition, accused of having been the driver who brought Abdelhamid Abaaoud to Belgium and the gunman of the attack foiled by passengers in the Thalys train in August 2015, he was sentenced in this case to 25 years in prison in December. 2020. He appealed against this decision.

Abdellah Chouaa is the latest indicted in the investigation. This 40-year-old Belgian-Moroccan man is suspected of having provided logistical support to the cell which prepared the attacks. Son of an imam from the Brussels district of Molenbeek, he was left free under judicial supervision.

Ali El Haddad Asufi is a 36-year-old Belgian-Moroccan who was in regular contact with members of the jihadist cell. He is accused of having participated in the supply of weapons. He has been in detention since June 2019.

Adel Haddadi, 34, Algerian, and Muhammad Usman, 28-year-old Pakistani, were arrested in December 2015, a month after the attacks, in a migrant hostel in Austria. They left Syria and joined Europe by the migrant route with two suicide bombers from the Stade de France. They are suspected of having wanted to commit an attack in France. They have been detained in France since June 2016.

Farid Kharkhach is a 39-year-old Belgian-Moroccan, born July 4, 1982, accused of having provided false papers to the cell at the request of Khalid El Bakraoui, one of the perpetrators of the Brussels attacks. Arrested in Belgium in January 2017, he is detained in France.

Ali Oulkadi is an elder close to Brahim Abdeslam. The 37-year-old Frenchman is suspected of having helped Salah Abdeslam go into hiding when he arrived in Brussels on November 14, but has always denied being aware of the cell’s terrorist project. Arrested in Belgium in November 2015 and then returned to France, he was imprisoned before being released under judicial supervision in June 2018.

The absent accused

Osama Atar was born in 1984. He is a jihad veteran identified by the war name of Abu Ahmed al-Iraki. He is considered to be one of the heads of the intelligence branch of Daesh.

According to French magistrates, this Belgo-Moroccan is the authorizing officer of the Parisian attacks. Never arrested, he was reportedly eliminated by a Western strike in the Iraqi-Syrian zone in November 2017.

“Ahmad Alkhald”, aka Omar Darif is a Syrian. He is considered to be the only major player in the November 13, 2015 commandos who are still on the run. His DNA was notably found on explosive belts used in Paris. For investigators, he was one of Daesh’s main fireworks.

Fabien and Jean-Michel Clain have become figures of the French jihad: these two Toulouse brothers were very likely killed in February / March 2019 in an airstrike in Syria. Fabien Clain has been identified as the man who recorded the audio message claiming the November 13 attacks and in which his brother Jean-Michel chanted religious songs.

Ahmed Dahmani is a 32-year-old Belgian-Moroccan from Molenbeek like his friend Salah Abdeslam. He is suspected of being a logistician of the jihadist cell who prepared the attacks. He fled on November 14, 2015 to Turkey where he was sentenced in 2016 to ten years in prison and imprisoned. He is still imprisoned there.

Obeida Aref Dibo known as “Abu Walid Al-Souri”, Syrian, was a member of the Daesh external operations cell, close to Ahmad Alkhad. He is said to have died in a bombing raid in February 2016.

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