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Trial begins for 10 alleged jihadists in France

PARIS — A trial began Monday for 10 people charged in connection with the financing of a jihadist movement that the UN Security Council considers an affiliate of Al Qaeda.

The trial comes four years after the suspects, mostly Turkish-speaking, were rounded up in a police sweep in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

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The defendants are suspected of collecting funds for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the UN listed as an Al Qaeda affiliate just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The trial was expected to detail funding in the global jihadist movement.

Lawyers for two of the defendants denied the charges against their clients, insisting the money collected was for “humanitarian” uses such as for the buying of sheep for slaughter for the Muslim festival of Eid.

The defendants are also accused of ties to an Islamic militant sentenced for plotting to crash a plane into the mausoleum of the founder of modern Turkey.

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