Almost seven years after the attacks jihadists that ended the lives of 130 people and left more than 400 injured in Paris and Saint-Denis, justice french is about to sentence the terrorists who orchestrated the massacre. On Friday the 10th, the prosecution requested life imprisonment for the leaders of the attacks that occurred on November 13, 2015, and from this Monday the 13th the defense will speak in what some French media have called “the trial of the century”.
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By the end of this month wait that the nine judges pass sentence on the 20 defendants for 13-N -six will be tried in absentia, although it is assumed that they died-, taking into account a process that has lasted five years. The formal trial, which began in September 2021, is held in a file of 542 volumes and an accusation composed of 348 pages. The figures may seem exaggerated, but they are not if you take into account the 1,765 plaintiffs who work hand in hand with 300 lawyers, and those who have paraded to give their testimony before the court, such as the former French president Francois Hollande and other high-ranking politicians. The process is of such magnitude that, like the attack against the magazine “charlie hebdo”, will be filmed and stored in the National Archives French.
The process against these terrorists has a visible face: salah abdeslamthe only one of the jihadists who survived and who already has a 20-year prison sentence for a shooting that took place in 2016 in Belgium. “He is one of many lone wolves caught by him Islamic State. We know that he is an introverted person and that, being Muslim, did not fit into French society. He was socially treated like a foreigner, despite being French“, He says Yasmín Calmet, doctor in Political Science and professor at the Catholic University of Santa María de Arequipa.
Calmet’s explanation becomes more important when remembering the words of Francois Hollande during his statement in court. According to the former French president, France was attacked byits values as a Western society, and not because of its anti-jihadist military operations abroad”. The specialist disagrees.
About the attack
The wave of terrorist attacks that occurred on November 13, 2015, He had as targets the Bataclan room -leaving 90 dead-, the Stade de France and some Parisian streets (such as Bichat and Charonne).
The political scientist recalls that the worldwide war against terrorism began with the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, which was later followed by others in Madrid (2004) and London (2005). In response, the Gauls and their allies launched military interventions and even spoke of implement democratic regimes in the Middle East. “But one of the discussions that this raised was how authoritarian and terrorist these maneuvers were.”.
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What was left aside was precisely the main cause of the problem: the marginalization of these people, an argument that now serves as an excuse for terrorists. “Subsequent sanctions on countries such as Syria caused the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in the region to be hit hard and react with violence on their own territories.Calmet explains. And he adds: “But it also allowed them to maintain that they cannot live under constant attacks from Westa side that wants to annul its culture and implant systems that have nothing to do with its reality”. The rejection towards them, the migrants and their customs, “strengthens the religious discourse that unites in fraternity those who are excluded from society”.
the other courts
In addition to Salah Abdeslam, also Life sentences were requested for Sofien Ayari (Tunisia, 29 years old) and Osama Krayem (Sweden, 24 years old), members of a Brussels-based terrorist cell with links to the Paris attack.
The political analyst and expert on terrorism and the Middle East Joseph Hagmaintains that the panorama in France Y Europe, with regard to terrorist attacks, it has changed. This is due, he says, both to the disconnect between the Islamic State and potential recruits, as to the very perception of Europeans, who “are more alert”.
“Information circulated that the French, British and Americans ordered their special forces not to let any of these terrorists enter their territories. Indirectly, there were orders to execute those who did not surrender or to send them to jail”.
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That is why they were so concerned about what happened at the beginning of this year. In January, in a prison located in northeastern Syria, “there was two riots by prisoners of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group that led to violent fighting for four days”. Happily, the Democratic Syrian Forces (SDF) They managed to control the situation.
The response to intelligence information also changed. Before, recalls Hage, the French knew of the strange movements of certain people and that these could end in attacks. However, the judges categorically refused to approve search or arrest warrants. “And this caused more than one person identified as dangerous to go free and act according to suspicions.”.
And that paradigm could change as a result of the trial of the perpetrators of 13-N. “There is a blurred line that separates one right from another, but now justice should be inclined to leave aside any gray area, to interpret it as if it were black or white. Surely, the result will be in favor of the authorities taking action on the matter at any indication.”.
In fact, adds the specialist, the European community works together with New Zealand, Australia, Canada Y USA, to set up and increase networks and monitor dangerous individuals, and thus reduce the dangers. If we add to this the military interventions and the fact that the terrorists have seen their sources of financing and training cut, it is understandable why the attacks in the Old continent Have decreased.
“But it’s not that they don’t happen anymore”.
Hage remembers that a few days ago, in Germany, a car hit several pedestrians, then crashed into a shopping center, killing one person and leaving twelve seriously injured. The newspaper “bild” notes that the driver “he left a letter announcing his attack“, while France 24 remember that, in 2016 and in that same place, a “man with extremist ties hijacked a truck, killed the driver, then deliberately crashed it into a popular Christmas market, killing 13 others and injuring dozens”.
“But the authorities are no longer winding up issues related to terrorism, and so we still don’t know the nature of the event in Germany. If they do not, it is because this type of news increases resentment and, indirectly, recruits more people”, maintains Hage.
“Thinking about the trial that follows, it will be necessary to see if it is given much coverage on television. Doing so can have a negative effect. But I monitor French television and they have blown it up, they have not covered it as if it were the news of the day”.
Yasmín Calmet, on the other hand, questions why these events are not given so much weight in the news. “I understand that one of the ways to limit the actions of these terrorist groups is not to give them much importance. However, it seems to me to be a wrong strategy because it also legitimizes them becoming more violent.”.
“In France, the national plan to prevent radicalization is failing. They want the lone wolves captured by the IS to be fewer, but they propose military strategies instead of social and economic insertion policies that, although they exist, have flaws and do not prevent the feeling of hatred from growing in these communitiesCalmet concludes.