BY: IBTISSEM GUENFOUD, ABC News
(PARIS) — A trial related to the January 2015 deadly attacks on Charlie Hebdo employees and other targets is set to begin Wednesday in Paris.
The gunmen fatally shot illustrators and journalists at Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, as well as a police officer and shoppers at a Jewish supermarket during a three-day killing spree beginning Jan. 7, 2015.
Investigating magistrates have charged 14 people in connection to the attacks, which killed 17 people. Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachand and Amédy Coulibaly, the alleged perpetrators of the attacks, have been charged with financing terrorism, membership of a terrorist organization and supplying weapons to terrorists. The landmark trial is expected to last for two-and-a-half months.
Charlie Hebdo posted on Twitter the cover of its next edition to be released on Wednesday, in which the editorial staff decided to reprint the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that some found offensive five years ago.
Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo. A video released after the killings shows Coulibaly pledging allegiance to then ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The extent of any direct involvement by either terrorist group remains unclear.
More than 3 million people had taken part in unity marches across France, chanting “Je suis Charlie” in the days that followed the attacks, and more solidarity marches were organized in cities across Europe.
Five years later, the terrorist threat in France is still “at an extremely high level,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Monday, with over 8,000 people listed and watched by French intelligence for terrorist radicalization.
“At least half a dozen” terror attacks have been thwarted since the start of the year, the anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard told local news outlet Franceinfo.
The entire trial will be filmed in the interest of “the constitution of the historical archives of justice,” according to the court.
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