PARIS – A Paris court has convicted nine people of belonging to a terrorist network that trained in Afghanistan and reportedly planned attacks in France.
The 15-day trial of members of the network uncovered in 2010 underscores the concerns of French and other European officials over Europeans returning from the war zones of Syria — which has attracted more would-be jihadis than Afghanistan.
The court handed down sentences of two to eight years in prison. Three of the defendants were tried in absentia — one is in custody in Turkey while two are at large.
All denied they were fighters or planned an attack. The prosecutor had sought 10-year sentences, the maximum under the charge of criminal association with a terrorist band in view of an attack.