Main Suspect in 2015 Paris Attacks Trial Denies Killing Anyone

Salah Abdeslam, the main surviving suspect in the trial for the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, denied killing or hurting anyone.

“I did not kill anyone and I did not injure anyone. I didn’t inflict so much as a scratch on anyone. It’s important for me to say this, because since the beginning of this case, people have not stopped slandering me,” Abdeslam told the court before the judges began the questioning.

“What I can tell you is that I am not a danger to society,” Abdeslam added.

Of the 20 defendants in the trial, Abdeslam is the only one to be directly accused of murder, attempted murder, and hostage-taking.

Investigators believe that Abdeslam, 32, is the only surviving member of the Islamist State cell that carried out a coordinated series of bombings and shootings on six restaurants and cafes, the Bataclan concert hall, and the national football stadium on Nov. 13, 2015, killing 130 people dead and injuring hundreds others.

Investigators suspect that Abdeslam planned to blow himself up in a suicide attack. Police found an explosive vest in a trash can believed to belong to him.

Abdeslam told the court that he changed his mind about blowing himself up in the last minute and that his current imprisonment while on trial made him reflect on the decision.

“When you are in prison in isolation, watched 24 hours a day, harassed 24 hours a day, treated like shit you ask yourself, ‘Was I right to back out? Should I have gone right to the end?'” Abdeslam said.

Abdeslam will face further cross-examination on Feb. 10.

If convicted, Abdeslam faces a life sentence. He is already serving a prison sentence by a Belgian court for his part in a shootout in Brussels that led to his arrest.


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