Salah Abdeslam on Trial: The Latest

Salah Abdeslam is the sole surviving member of the group of Islamic terrorists who carried out the deadly attacks in Paris in November of 2015, including the bloody massacre at the Bataclan café.

The trial of Mr. Abdeslam is ongoing in Paris. It was previously discussed here, here, and here. The trial is expected to continue until May.

Many thanks to Gary Fouse for translating this article from Le Figaro:

November 13 trial: Abrini states that Abdeslam “took his place” for the attacks

Mohamed Abrini states that Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member among the commandos, had not been included in the initial plan.

The Belgian Mohamed Abrini testified on Tuesday March 29 at the 13 November trial that he had been “included” in the attacks at Paris and Saint-Denis, as opposed to Salah Abdeslam, who finally “took his place” when he declined to participate.

The “man in the hat”, known for having abandoned his cart full of explosives during the attacks in Brussels in March 2016, confirmed before the special criminal court in Paris that he would have been part of the jihadist commandos who caused 130 deaths in Paris and Saint-Denis in 2015. Two months earlier, in September, he explains to the court, in Belgium, he met with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the future terrace shooter, who would be killed five days after November 13 by police. “He tells me, ‘You’re going to be part of a project.’” At that time, “I don’t know that it’s the Bataclan, I don’t know that it is France,” Mohamed Abrini states. “I don’t say yes, I don’t say no, I say nothing,” and “I take back my life, “ he continues.

“Salah Abdeslam, he would never do it”

Later — the court fails to establish when, in spite of its repeated questions, he warned Brahim Abdeslam, the older brother of Salah Abdeslam, who (Brahim) would blow himself up in a Parisian bar, that he (Abrini) would not participate in the attack: “I can’t go and kill ordinary people like that in the street,” he repeats from the dock. So, since there is an “additional explosive vest, an additional Kalashnikov, Brahim Abdeslam turned to his brother,” states Mohamed Abrini.

He states that Salah Abdeslam, the only member of the commandos still alive, was not included in the initial plan. “Me, I knew that Salah Abdeslam would never do it. I saw determined people…”, says Mohamed Abrini again. “I don’t say this to defend him, I don’t care.” His testimony continued in the afternoon. That of Salah Abdeslam is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

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