Sep 8, 2021 - World

Paris ramps up security for trial over 2015 terror attacks

Picture of the Palais de Justice courthouse with French Gendarmes standing in front of the building

French Gendarmes escort a convoy understood to be transporting Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the November 2015 Paris attacks, upon its arrival at the Palais de Justice of Paris. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

The trial of 20 men allegedly involved in the November 2015 Islamic State attacks in Paris began Wednesday under high security — with over 1,000 police officers.

State of play: The 20 defendants due to face trial include Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be the only surviving attacker. Roads around the Palais de Justice courthouse in Paris will be closed off, and those attending the trial must go through several checkpoints, per Reuters.

  • Of the 20 accused, 11 are in jail awaiting trial, and six will be tried in absentia.
  • The men will appear in the courtroom behind a reinforced glass partition.

What they're saying: "The terrorist threat in France is high, especially at times like the attacks' trial," French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said, per Reuters.

Flashback: During the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks, gunmen with suicide vests killed around 130 people and injured hundreds more when they attacked the Bataclan concert hall, a sports stadium and six bars and restaurants.

What to watch: The trial is set to last nine months and the verdict is expected to come out in May 2022. Victims' testimonies will start in late September and the defendants will be questioned beginning in November.

  • Most of the accused face life imprisonment if found guilty.
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