Bataclan Attack Trial Starts

The trial of 20 men suspected of involvement in an attack in Paris has started on Wednesday.

Police have gathered around the Palais de Justice courthouse in central Paris to protect the suspects before their trial.

Salah Abdeslam, one of 20 men accused of being involved in the November 13, 2015 attacks on six restaurants and bars, the Bataclan concert hall, and a sports stadium by shooters wearing suicide vests, appeared in court dressed in black with a black face mask, saying he wanted to testify.

“I want to testify that there is no god except Allah and that Mohammad is his servant,” Abdeslam, 31, said.

About 130 people were killed, and hundreds were left wounded after the incident, leaving scars on the country’s psyche.

“The terrorist threat in France is high, especially at times like the attacks’ trial,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France Inter radio. 

“I called on all the prefects to be vigilant,” he added.

The streets and banks of the Seine will be closed to traffic and pedestrians around the Palais de Justice courthouse on an island in central Paris. 

Attendants must pass multiple checkpoints before entering a specially built court and other rooms where the hearings will be broadcast.

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