A Paris court handed out jail terms of between 22 and 30 years to three jihadists after they were found guilty of plotting a terror attack in the French capital in December 2016.
The court handed Strasbourg residents Hicham Makran and his friend Yassine Bousseria 22 and 24 years respectively, and a longer sentence to Moroccan national Hicham El-Hanafi.
The court also ruled that El-Hanafi will be permanently banned from French territory upon the completion of his sentence. All three men will be put on the French terrorist offences register, Franceinfo reports.
According to the broadcaster, none of the three men reacted as the verdict was read. The defendants have ten days to launch an appeal.
The 2016 arrests were part of the cyber-infiltration operation Ulysses, by France’s General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI), after an informant close to the Islamic State circles noted that the suspects were attempting to purchase Kalashnikov rifles.
Macron: Parts of France Are ‘Breeding Grounds’ for Terrorists https://t.co/XravemhJjC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 6, 2020
The DGSI used its information to have agents pose as weapons traffickers. The agents told a member of the terror group in the Middle East where the rifles could be picked up, with the Islamic State then passing on the coordinates to the three suspects.
When the men were arrested, the DGSI confirmed that the suspects had in their possession the coordinates from the sting operation.
Radical Islamic terrorism remains a major security threat in France, with the country being placed on its highest alert level following the Nice terror attack in October.
French president Emmanuel Macron commented in November that parts of France have become “breeding grounds” for terrorists, stating: “In certain districts and on the internet, groups linked to radical Islam are teaching hatred of the Republic to our children, calling on them to disregard its laws.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 16, 2021