PARIS (AP) — The key defendant in the trial of the attacks in Paris in 2015 said on Wednesday the coordinated killings were retaliation for French air raids on the Islamic State group, call the dead of 130 innocent people “nothing personal” like him being . recognized role for the first time.
Salah Abdeslam, who wore everything black and declined to take off his mask while he spoke in a habit-built courtroom, the entire investigation has been silent. Observers waited to see of he would give details during the trial.
Nine Islamic State group gunmen and suicide bombers struck within minutes of one another on different locations around Paris on November 13, 2015, targeting fans at the national football stadium and cafe visitors and end with a bloodbath in the Bataclan concert hall. It was the deadliest violence to hit France since World War II and one of the worst terror attacks on hit the West, shakes the feel of the country of security and its rewrite politics.
Abdeslam is the only survivor of die cell, most of whose members are French of were Belgian. After his suicide vest broke down on the night of the attacks, he fled to his hometown of Brussels.
A screen on Wednesday in the courtroom showed a photo of the car Abdeslam abandoned in Northern Paris after he fell off the three suicide bombers at the national stadium. Abdeslam’s target was unclear, but when Islamic State claimed responsibility, next day the statement alluded to a attack in the neighborhood where he left the car that never took place.
The two people Abdeslam requested drive through the night from Brussels to Paris to pick it up belong to the 20 on process. Six of die be tried in absence.
Abdeslam, who was arrested months after the attacks, said the killings were in response to French airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. France participated of the international coalition die originated when the extremists conquered a large area in both countries.
“We fought against France, we attacked France, we targeted the civilian” population. It was nothing personal against them,” said Abdeslam. “L know my statement may be shocking, but it’s not to dig the knife deeper in the wound, but to be sincere to them who suffer immeasurable sorrow.”
The same network beat Brussels airport and metro system in March 2016, killing another 32 people. Among those on process in Paris is Mohammed Abrini, who left the city the night before the 2015 attacks and took part in the Brussels one. He acknowledged a role on Wednesday.
“I recognize my participation… (but) in this evil that happened in France, I am neither the commander nor the architect. I have no logistics nor financial help’ said Abrina.
the ghost of the man who was the architect of the attacks, the late Abdelhamid Abaaoud, loomed large in the first to dawn of the process.
The courtroom saw him in a video die Escaped in the subway. A researcher testified that he on the phone to the attackers and to someone in Brussels during the attacks.
Counter-terror investigators saw Abaaoud in surveillance video die enter the Paris metro with another of the shooters. They recognized Abaaoud by his fluorescent orange shoes – and it was a… key moment in the case.
“If soon as we see this video, it is changes all because we realize that there are at least two more terrorists in are alive,” the researcher testified. His name was not released publicly, as is common in French counter-terrorism trials.
Abaaoud and the remaining gunman died days later in a police shooting and a suicide bombing.
The same researcher also witnessed the devastation die officials felt as the attacks unfolded.
“The sentiment that we die evening in the Bataclan had was one of failure. … I am not sure we had the means to prevent it all. But when we saw the Bataclan in went, that was the feeling,” he said.
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