Saturday, September 25

The main accused of the Bataclan attacks: “There is no other divinity than Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”


Correspondent in Paris

Updated:

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A few minutes after the official opening of the process that must judge the terrorist attacks of the November 13, 2015, that 130 dead and 413 wounded were claimed, the main accused, Salah Abdeslam (32 years), announced the somber tone of history to be judged: “There is no other divinity than Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”

At 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday, the President of the Tribunal, Jean-Louis Périès, announced the official opening with this phrase: «The debates remain open. Respect for the rules will be essential, starting with the rights of the defense ”.

It would follow strict respect for the strictest legal rules, presenting and identifying the accused. Salah Abdeslam, the most important of all, had arrived minutes before at the Palace of Justice, in the historic heart of Paris. Awesome beard. Grim face.

Court sketch made on September 8, 2021 shows Salah Abdeslam
Court sketch made on September 8, 2021 shows Salah Abdeslam – AFP

When a member of the Tribunal asked Abdeslam to identify himself and provide information on his origins and profession, the defendant launched this jihadist profession of faith: “I abandoned all profession to become a soldier of the Islamic State. First of all, I want to leave this essential testimony for myself. There is no other divinity than Allah and Muhammad is his prophet ».

Abdeslam in 2015
Abdeslam in 2015 – AFP

After such a precise confession, Abdeslam returned to the defendant’s bench. And the process could begin with its laborious procedures. Presentation of the civil parts (just under 1,800), a reminder of the rules that will be respected, step by step, with overwhelming “slowness”. The process should last until the month of May next year. And the personal questioning of Salah Abdeslam is not scheduled to begin until the beginning of next January.

The relentless “haste” with which Abdeslam has advanced his profession of faith, a radical Islamist, illuminates with its terrifying black light the essential dimensions of the massacres perpetrated in Paris by a group of three jihadist commandos, consummating a bloodbath conceived by the Islamic State between Syria and Iraq.

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