French court finds all 14 defendants tied to Charlie Hebdo attackers guilty

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A French court on Wednesday found fourteen people with ties to the Islamic militants behind the 2015 attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket guilty of various terror-related and criminal offenses.

Reuters reported that the charges ranged from membership in a criminal organization to direct complicity in the attacks, both of which took place in Paris in January 2015.

Some of those found guilty had more serious charges against them dropped. Three of those charged were tried in absentia, including 32-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene, thought to be on the run after joining ISIS.

France has continued to be beset with violence from Islamist extremists in recent years and in October alone saw two terrorist attacks. Nine people were arrested in connection with the beheading of a French teacher who displayed an image of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad during a class lecture, while one person was also detained after killing three people at a church in Nice.

Charlie Hebdo’s editors commemorated the beginning of the trial for those suspected of being connected to the attack by reprinting the images of Muhammad that originally sparked the 2015 attack. Weeks later, two people were wounded in a stabbing attack near its former offices.

French President Emmanuel Macron moved last week to introduce a bill in response to the attacks banning activity defined as “Islamist separatism,” referring to online hate speech, abuse of France’s homeschooling system, and other practices the French government says are part of a movement aimed at spreading radical Islamist beliefs within France’s borders.

“The Republic intends to defend itself,” said France’s prime minister at a news conference after the bill was unveiled.

Tags Charlie Hebdo attack Emmanuel Macron France ISIS Islamic State terrorist attacks
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