The key defendant within the 2015 Paris attacks trial said Wednesday that the Islamic State network which struck the town was attacking France, which the deaths of 130 people were “nothing personal.”
Wearing all black and declining to get rid of his black mask, Salah Abdeslam was the last of the 14 defendants present within the custom-built courtroom to talk.
Nine Islamic State group gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of 1 another at several locations around Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, beginning at the national soccer stadium and ending with a bloodbath inside the Bataclan hall. it had been the deadliest violence to strike France since war II and among the worst terror attacks to hit the West.
Abdeslam is that the only survivor of that cell, most of whose members were French or Belgian. He fled the town after discarding his malfunctioning suicide vest. the 2 people he called upon to drive through the night from Brussels to Paris and pick him up are among the 20 men unproved. Six are being tried in absentia.
Abdeslam said the attack was revenge for French airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.
“We fought France, we attacked France, we targeted the civilian population. it had been nothing personal against them,” Abdeslam said. “I know my statement could also be shocking, but it’s to not dig the knife deeper within the wound but to be sincere towards those that are suffering immeasurable grief.”
The same network struck the Brussels airport and subway system in March 2016, killing another 32 people. Mohammed Abrini, also unproved in Paris, left Paris the night before the attack in November 2015 but took part in the Brussels attack. He acknowledged his role on Wednesday.
“In this evil that happened in France, i’m neither the commander nor the architect. I provided no logistical nor financial help,” Abrini said.