The self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks went on trial in absentia in Paris for allegedly ordering a deadly Tunisian synagogue bombing less than a year after the assault on New York and Washington. The proceedings are expected to highlight the reach and complexity of al-Qaida-linked networks in North Africa, although they are unlikely to directly affect the fate of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is being held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay.

Also on trial in France are Christian Ganczarski, a German who converted to Islam, and Walid Naouar, the brother of the suicide bomber who drove a propane-laden truck into an ancient synagogue on the island of Djerba on April 11, 2002, killing 21 people.

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