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Algerians Sentenced for French Bomb Plot

Four Algerians, three of whom admitted training in Afghan terror camps, were convicted Monday of plotting to bomb a French Christmas market and sentenced to prison terms of between 10 and 12 years. The four were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiring to plant a bomb and of weapons violations, capping a trial that opened under intense scrutiny last year but never exposed the inner workings of al-Qaida in Europe as prosecutors had hoped. Prosecutors claimed the defendants were part of a network of predominantly North African extremists called the Nonaligned Mujahideen, with ties to al-Qaida. But the government dropped charges of belonging to a terrorist organization in January to speed up the trial. Salim Boukari received the longest sentence, 12 years, followed by Fouhad Sabour, 11 1/2 years. Both had denied intent to kill, insisting they targeted an empty synagogue in Strasbourg, France. The five judges of the Frankfurt state court called that argument “absurd” and said the four plotted to detonate a bomb in the market near the cathedral in Strasbourg on New Year’s Eve 2000, when it was packed with holiday revelers. Full Story

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