(JTA) – A Paris court jailed more than a dozen Islamists for planning jihadist attacks on French Jews and other targets.
The Correctional Tribunal of Paris on Friday handed down its harshest punishment, a nine-year prison term, to the leader of the banned terrorist group Forsane Alizza, Le Figaro reported.
Mohamed Amchalane, 39, and 13 other members of Forsane Alizza 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.
The trial began last month.
Among the group’s alleged targets were five Jewish supermarkets of the Hyper Cacher chain, the news site ouest-france.fr reported, and several other Jewish businesses. A Hyper Cacher market in the Paris area was the scene of a deadly terrorist siege in January.
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 planning to become involved.
Forsane Alizza, Arabic for “knights of pride,” was a group dedicated to fighting Islamophobia, Amchalane’s lawyer said.