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French judges order terror trial


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French judges order terror trial

Judges in France have ordered six people to stand trial in connection with an alleged plot to attack the United States embassy in Paris in 2001.

The six are charged with "criminal association with a terrorist enterprise".

The man accused of being their leader, Franco-Algerian Djamel Beghal, was arrested in Dubai in July 2001.

He is said to have admitted being involved in such a plot and claimed it had been ordered by al-Qaeda.

Mr Beghal, 38, now says is innocent and that his statement, given during interrogation in Dubai, was obtained by torture.

The plot is reported to have included plans to target a US cultural centre in Paris as well as the US embassy.

September arrest

Mr Beghal reportedly named former Tunisian footballer Nizar Trabelsi as the chosen suicide bomber. His task was to enter the US embassy, just off the Place de la Concorde, with explosives strapped to his body, and blow himself up.

A van packed with explosives would have been driven separately to the US cultural centre, also in the heart of Paris, and detonated.

Trabelsi, who denies the claim, is currently serving 10 years in Belgium for planning to bomb a military base on an al-Qaeda mission.

Although Mr Beghal was arrested in July 2001, the French investigation into the Paris embassy plot was only opened on 10 September 2001, the day before the terror attacks in the US.

French anti-terrorist judges Jean-Louis Bruguiere and Jean-Francois Ricard have investigated the suspects for nearly three years.

The six men, along with two others facing residency charges, could go on trial in 2005.


Kinda proves that no matter what Bushites say, although France isn't interested in war, its still taking out terrorism.

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As is Germany:

Germany bans Islamic conference

Berlin's authorities have banned an Islamic conference which they say planned to lend support to violent attacks on Israelis and Americans.

The interior minister for the capital said the event overstepped the line of what was permissible in Germany.

The conference, set for next month, was to rally support for what it called the struggle against US-Zionist occupation of Palestinian territories and Iraq.

One of the organisers was deported to Lebanon on Saturday.

The man, Fadi Madi, told AFP news agency that the US had put pressure on Germany to stop the event from taking place.

But Berlin's Interior Minister, Ehrhart Koerting, said that anyone who used Germany as a platform to campaign against other countries and praise terrorist attacks forfeited his right to stay in the country.

German embassies and consulates had already been told to refuse visas for anyone wanting to attend the conference.


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