Abdeslam blames France for bombing ISIS
Salah Abdeslam, the main defendant in the November 2015 Paris attacks trial, has sought to justify the murder of 130 people as retaliation for French military action against Islamic State ihadists.
The 32-year-old is the only surviving member of the ISIS cell that targeted Paris that night and told the trial that ‘we attacked France, targeted its population, civilians, but there was nothing personal’.
He singled out former President François Hollande, saying that when he had authorised air strikes on ISIS militants in Syria he knew that French citizens would meet their deaths.
The defendant rejected the terms ‘terrorist’ and 'radicalism’, and told the court that theirs was an ‘authentic Islam’.
Although there are 20 defendants on trial, Salah Abdeslam is the chief suspect and only 13 others are in court. Most of the others are presumed dead. Later this month, some of the survivors of the 13 November bomb and gun attacks will start giving evidence, which is expected to take five weeks.