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Qaeda's 9/11 mastermind on trial over synagogue bombing

Al-Qaeda's 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and two alleged accomplices went on trial in Paris on Monday, accused of plotting the 2002 suicide bombing of a Tunisian synagogue that left 21 dead.

world Updated: Jan 05, 2009 16:03 IST

Al-Qaeda's 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and two alleged accomplices went on trial in Paris on Monday, accused of plotting the 2002 suicide bombing of a Tunisian synagogue that left 21 dead.

Sheikh Mohammed is held at the US military's Guantanamo Bay prison and will be tried in absentia, but German national Christian Ganczarski and Tunisian Walid Nawar, the bomber's brother, appeared before the anti-terror court.

Sheikh Mohammed, who has confessed to being the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, is thought to have been Al-Qaeda's military commander responsible for all foreign operations.

The trial will focus on Ganczarski, a German of Polish origin who converted to Islam and allegedly played a leading role in Al-Qaeda's network in Europe.

French prosecutors have charged the trio with "complicity in attempted murder in relation to a terrorist enterprise" and they face a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail if convicted of the April 11, 2002 attack.