10 Sentenced In Germany For Planned Attack on Christmas Market
PARIS (AFP) – A French court sentenced 10 people to prison terms of up to 10 years for taking part in a conspiracy to blow up a Christmas market in the eastern city of Strasbourg .
Mohamed Bensakhria and Slimane Khalfaoui, who were said to be the group’s leaders, were given 10 years, and Mohamed Yacine Aknouche was given eight. Rabah Kadri, who is in detention in Britain , was given six years and was banned from entering French territory.
They and the others, who received shorter terms, were all found guilty of “criminal association with a terrorist enterprise.”
The men provided logistical support for a group of Islamists based in the German city of Frankfurt , who were arrested in possession of plans to blow up the Strasbourg market in December 2000.
Four members of the Frankfurt group were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in jail by a German court last year.
The German court was shown a videotape made of the market, with a voiceover by one of the men convicted saying that the passers-by were the “enemies of God” and would burn in hell.
Bensakhria, an Algerian national, was arrested in Spain in June 2001 and later extradited to France .