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Paris terror suspect claims he 'saw people dancing and knew I couldn't do it'

The main defendant in the case over the Paris attacks of 2015 has apologized to the victims and asked for forgiveness.

Salah Abdullam faces trial for his involvement in the atrocity which resulted in 130 deaths.

Abdeslam (32 years old) is the last remaining member of the cell that attacked the city’s Bataclan Theatre, cafes, and national stadium.

Although he claims that he had changed his mind and decided to blow up his suicide vest at a cafe, prosecutors claim it failed.


Friday’s testimony was given by Abdeslam, who appealed to survivors to “detest my with moderation”.

Image: Abdeslam was detained on March 18, 2016. Pic:VTM via AP

He claimed that the mastermind behind the attacks had convinced him to join the suicide bomber team two days earlier. His brother then showed him the café in Paris the next day, where he was to explode himself in front of a crowd.

It was a shock for me. I wasn’t sure how to respond. Abdeslam stated that he showed that he wasn’t ready to do that.

France: More

“He convinced me.”

He recalled wearing the explosive vest the night of 13/11, while his brother and IS extremists spread throughout Paris mounting attacks.

Abdeslam stated, “I go to the cafe and order a drink.”

“I was thinking. I was watching people dancing, laughing. That’s when it hit me that I couldn’t do it. I said to myself, “I’m not going do it,” he replied, citing a sense that “humanity” was what I needed.

The court heard from a police explosives expert that the suicide belt was defective, but Abdeslam said that he had disabled it.

Image 130 people were killed in the attacks on 13/11/15

He said, “There are no words to describe this.”

According to French media reports, Abdeslam began to cry when his lawyer asked him about his mother’s loss and the death of her older son.

He said, “I offer my condolences and ask for forgiveness for all victims.”

The court was not pleased with the decision and the public reacted with anger.

He asked forgiveness repeatedly for three other defendants who were on trial for helping his escape.

Georges Salines, whose Lola was killed at the Bataclan, said that Abdeslam was “trying to resolve [many] contradictions in him.” Although he is trying to solve them, his path will take him a long time.

Abdeslam claimed that he left the cafe to try to find friends and ask for help. He took a taxi from Paris to Montrouge where he claimed he took the explosive vest off and dumped it in the bin.

He fled to hiding near Paris, then fled to Brussels with his friends. He was finally arrested four months later.

He could spend his entire life behind bars if he is convicted of murder. On 24 June, a verdict is expected.


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