14 French Islamists sentenced for targeting kosher shops

Members of banned terror group had planned attacks on Hyper Cacher supermarkets; group’s leader jailed for 9 years

A policeman stands guard on January 21, 2015, in front the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket where jihadist gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed four Jewish men on January 9, 2015 in Paris. (AFP/Eric Feferberg)
A policeman stands guard on January 21, 2015, in front the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket where jihadist gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed four Jewish men on January 9, 2015 in Paris. (AFP/Eric Feferberg)

A Paris court on Friday jailed 14 Islamists for planning jihadist attacks on French Jews and other targets.

The Correctional Tribunal of Paris sentenced 39-year-old Mohamed Amchalane, the leader of the banned terrorist group Forsane Alizza, to nine years in prison, Le Figaro reported.

He and 13 of his accomplices, all members of the group, were convicted of “participating in a group formed with a view to preparing terrorist acts.”

The accomplices received lighter punishments of varying severity, ranging from a suspended sentence of one year to six years in prison, Le Figaro reported.

Among the group’s alleged targets were five Jewish supermarkets of the Hyper Cacher chain, the news website ouest-france.fr reported, and several other Jewish businesses. A Hyper Cacher market in the Paris area was the scene of January’s deadly terrorist siege, in which four French Jews were murdered.

The names of the businesses targeted were recovered from a computer seized in 2012, when Amchalane was arrested with other suspects during a police raid in the vicinity of Nantes, in western France.

Police also found in Amchalane’s possession 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.

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