Brother of Paris attacker on trial over militant training

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PARIS, May 30 (Reuters) - Seven people went on trial in Paris on Monday accused of traveling to Syria to train as militant fighters, among them the brother of one of the militants who killed 130 people in the French capital last November.

The seven, aged from 24 to 27, face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of taking part in an Islamist recruitment network and receiving training in Syria from Islamic State.

The accused, friends from eastern France, were part of a larger number who in December 2013 traveled to Syria, where two of them died.

Related: Archiving art from the Paris attacks:

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Brother of Paris attacker on trial over militant training
A drawing reading "Peace for Paris" is displayed to dry at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Drawing and notes with the colors of French National Flag are displayed to dry on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A visitor looks at old files in the 'reading room' where historic archived documents can be viewed at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A general view of the 'reading room' where historic archived documents can be viewed at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Drawing and notes with the colors of French National Flag are displayed to dry on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A visitor looks at old files in the 'reading room' where historic archived documents can be viewed at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Archive boxes in one of the many temperature-controlled storage rooms where historic archived documents are stored on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Archivist Gerald Monpas displays a Salanter Akiba Riverdale High School from New York's drawing and notes with the colors of French National Flag at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Salanter Akiba Riverdale High School from New York's drawing and notes with the colors of French National Flag with "Stands with Paris" dries on a table at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A road sign in the entrance of the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Archivists Gerald Monpas, left, and Mathilde Puntault, work on restauring drawings and notes at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Old registers and books in one of the many temperature-controlled storage rooms where historic archived documents are stored on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Drawing and notes are displayed to dry at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Old registers in one of the many temperature-controlled storage rooms where historic archived documents are stored on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Archive boxes in one of the many temperature-controlled storage rooms where historic archived documents are stored on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A large poster reading "Long Life France Vive La France and Long Life Republique" are displayed to dry on the floor at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Drawing and notes with the colors of French National Flag are displayed to dry on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Archivist Gerald Monpas displays some drawings at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
A pile of drawings from the Bataclan with the Eiffel Tower reading "Stop to the War" sits at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Archivist Mathilde Puntault, left, puts up for drying some drawings from the Bataclan on shelves at the City of Paris archive center during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec.15, 2015. The city of Paris has decided to collect and archive the notes and drawings left by passers-by on informal memorials on the sites of the Nov. 13 attacks, to keep the memory of the moving and spontaneous show of solidarity toward the victims. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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All but one returned to France in early 2014. The one who stayed behind was Foued Mohamed-Aggad, who took part in the three-man team that killed 90 people at the Bataclan concert hall during the multiple attacks in Paris.

Two of the three killed themselves by exploding their suicide vests and another was shot dead by police.

Foued's brother, Karim Mohamed-Aggad, is among the seven accused.

The defendants told investigators they had believed they were going to Syria on a humanitarian mission or to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces but not to become Islamist militants.

"I went there with one goal only: to fight the regime of Bashar al-Assad," Karim Mohamed-Aggad told the court.

Mohamed-Aggad urged the court not to confuse him with his brother. "You choose your friends, not your family," he said. "My brother did what he did, he alone bears responsibility."

The group's defense team says the seven were duped and when they realized they had fallen into the hands of a militant network they looked for a way out.

"They were told they could be useful," said Martin Pradel, lawyer for one of the defendants, told Reuters ahead of the hearing. "Their mistake was to believe the propaganda."

His colleague Xavier Nogueras said: "This is the trial of seven youths who came back after three months. That will allow us to highlight the difference between those who decided to come back and the one who stayed." (Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Brian Love and Ingrid Melander; Editing by Richard Lough and Alison Williams)

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