Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in a jihadist terrorist rampage that killed 130 people in coordinated attacks across Paris in November 2015, has told a French court he had never killed or wounded anyone.
French-Moroccan Abdeslam, is the only surviving member of the Islamist group alleged to have carried out the gun and bomb attacks on six restaurants and bars, the Bataclan concert hall and national soccer stadium in Paris.
He is the only defendant among the 20 defendants to be directly accused of murder, attempted murder and hostage-taking.
Police believe his explosive vest malfunctioned while he was attempting to carry out the attack and that he fled the French capital in the hours after the attack.
On Wednesday, February 9 in court, Abdeslam, 32, said he supported the militant group Islamic State and that he had been on the path to becoming a combatant but didn’t admit to being involved in the coordinated gun and bomb attacks that killed 130 people, a crime that was seen as the deadliest in postwar France and sent shockwaves across Europe.
“I wanted to say today that I didn’t kill anyone, and I didn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t even make a scratch,” Abdeslam told the court under questioning.
“It’s important for me to say this, because since the beginning of this case, people have not stopped slandering me.”
Since the attacks, Abdeslam has never expressed remorse for the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks.
He faces life in jail if found guilty.
Back in 2015 Islamic State terrorist group had targeted Paris to compel then President Francois Hollande to end French military interventions against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, Abdeslam said.
“It’s his fault that we are here today,” Abdeslam said in court in reference to Hollande.
“They responded to the aggression of France and the West. If they killed civilians, it was to make an impression.”
Abdeslam told the court he had never traveled to Syria but that he admired the militants’ willingness to sacrifice themselves daily.