French trial to begin over 2015 terror attacks
September 8, 2021 - Twenty men accused in the so-called Islamic State group’s 2015 attacks on Paris that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured are on trial in the French capital. The proceedings began Wednesday in an enormous custom-designed chamber in Paris.
Nine gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of each other at the national soccer stadium, the Bataclan concert hall and restaurants and cafes on Nov. 13, 2015.
The lone survivor of the extremist cell from that night is among those being tried for the deadliest attack in France since World War II. The same IS network went on to strike Brussels months later, killing another 32 people.
Twenty men are charged, but only 14 are appearing at court. Chief among them is Salah Abdeslam, who ditched his car and a malfunctioning suicide vest and ultimately fled to a hideout in his hometown of Brussels. Five of the six men being tried in absentia are presumed dead; the whereabouts of one man is unknown.
Most of the defendants face the maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of complicity in the attacks. Only Abdeslam is charged with murder.