Prosecutors in Paris presented their case against 15 defendants accused of planning jihadist attacks on French Jews and other targets.
The trial against the men, alleged members of the banned terrorist group Forsane Alizza, began Monday at the Correctional Tribunal of Paris and is expected to continue through June 23. They are accused of “participating in a group formed with a view to preparing terrorist acts,” according to metronews.fr.
Among the alleged targets were five Jewish supermarkets of the Hyper Cacher chain, the news site ouest-france.fr reported, and several other Jewish businesses. A Hyper Cacher market in the Paris area was the scene of a deadly terrorist siege in January.
The names of the businesses targeted were recovered from a computer seized in 2012, when the group’s leader, 37-year-old Mohamed Amchalane, was arrested with other suspects during a police raid in the vicinity of Nantes, in western France.
In Amchalane’s possession, police also found three AK-47 assault rifles, a grenade and a pistol, Le Figaro reported. He also had manuals on how to carry out terrorist attacks using explosives, including dirty bombs, which contain radioactive material.
Amchalane maintained in court that he was neither involved in violent activity nor was planning to become involved. Forsane Alizza, Arabic for “knights of pride,” was a group dedicated to fighting Islamophobia, Amchalane’s lawyer said.