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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.

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2021 - World

"Hotel Rwanda" film hero found guilty of terrorism-related charges

Paul Rusesabagina. Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/AFP via Getty Images

Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" about the 1994 genocide, was found guilty of forming a terrorist group, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Rusesabagina has maintained his innocence and boycotted the trial, which his family and supporters have denounced as a "sham" designed to silence him for criticizing Rwandan leader Paul Kagame.

13 mins ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Poland and Hungary have forced a moment of reflection on the European Union — similar to the one in the U.S. after the Jan. 6 insurrection, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Axios.

What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.