Fourteen people suspected of facilitating the 2015 Parisian terror attacks against the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market went on trial Wednesday.
The 13 men and a woman on trial allegedly assisted with logistics for the attacks, for which they are also accused of having bought weapons and cars, The Associated Press reports.
The January attacks are credited with ushering in a wave of Islamic State-perpetrated violence, such as the November 2015 attack throughout the French capital — which included an assault on the Bataclan concert hall — that left 130 dead.
“The trial will establish and confirm that the two attacks were coordinated; one was an attack on freedom of expression and the other was against Jews because they were Jews,” Fran\u00e7ois Hollande, France’s president at the time of the attacks, explained to RTL radio.
Despite global support for the European nation in the wake of the attacks, the bloodshed also highlighted a significant failure on the part of intelligence.
The attacks began Jan. 7, 2015, when brothers Chérif and Sa\u00efd Kouachi gunned down 12 people at a Charlie Hebdo editorial meeting. The brothers, who said they committed the attack in the name of al-Qaida, then carjacked a vehicle and fled. The pair cited the publication’s caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, which the newspaper defiantly reprinted ahead of Wednesday’s trial.
On Jan. 9, during the Jewish Sabbath, the Hyper Cacher supermarket was ambushed by Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four hostages in the name of the Islamic State.
Near-simultaneous police raids that day left Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers dead.
After several days, investigators learned that the former had also been responsible for the death of a young policewoman on Jan. 8, which was previously believed to be a random crime.
Many of the suspects being tried claim they believed they were helping to plan just a regular crime and insist their help in the killings was unwitting.
Three of the accused, including the sole woman on trial — Coulibaly’s wife Hayat Boumeddienne — are being tried in absentia after they left to join the Islamic State.
Samia Maktouf, a lawyer for one of the attack survivors said that those accused “are not second fiddles, they are full accomplices.”
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