A suspect linked to the Islamic State group that helped carry out a series of deadly attacks in Paris in 2015 says the deaths of 130 people were “nothing personal.”
“We fought against France, we attacked France, we targeted the civilian population. It was not something personal against them, “Salah Abdeslam said on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. “I know my statement may be shocking, but it is not to dig the knife deeper into the wound, but to be sincere to those who suffer immeasurable grief.”
Abdeslam is considered to be the last remaining survivor among members of the Islamic State who carried out shootings and suicide bombings in Paris on November 13, 2015. Members attacked violently several places in Paris, including the Stade de France, restaurants and a concert hall, Reuters reports.
The attacks in 2015 are considered the deadliest event in France since World War II, the AP noted.
In connection with the attacks, Abdeslam appeared to be helping to transport three members who later carried out a suicide bombing at the national football stadium, the AP noted. It is believed that he even tried to carry out a suicide bomber that was never realized, according to The Guardian.
After the violence, he was suspected of calling people in Belgium to pick him up while hiding in the south of Paris.
Abdeslam said the attacks were carried out in response to airstrikes carried out by France in Iraq and Syria at the time.
“François Hollande knew the risks he was taking to attack Islamic State in Syria,” Abdeslam said, referring to strikes in Syria approved by the former French president, according to The Guardian. He further claimed that the former president knew that people would die as a result of this authorization.
Earlier, he called himself a “fighter for Islamic State”, Abdeslam, claimed that “my goal is not to harm anyone” and said that “it is about authentic Islam.”