“We fought against France, we attacked France, we targeted the civilian population. There was nothing personal against them, ”Salah Abdeslam said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. “I know my statement may be shocking, but it is not to drive the knife deeper into the wound but to be sincere with those who suffer immeasurable grief. “
Abdeslam is considered the last survivor among ISIS operatives who carried out gunshots and suicide bombings in Paris on November 13, 2015. The operatives violently attacked several locations in Paris, including the Stade de France, restaurants and a concert. hall, Reuters reported.
The 2015 attacks are considered the deadliest event in France since World War II, the AP noted.
As part of the attacks, Abdeslam appeared to help transport three operatives who later carried out a suicide bombing at the national football stadium, the AP noted. He is also believed to have attempted to carry out a suicide bombing himself that was never carried out, according to The Guardian.
Following the violence, he was suspected of having called people in Belgium to come and pick him up while he was in 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 by attacking the Islamic State in Syria,” Abdeslam said, referring to strikes in Syria that had been authorized by the former French president, according to The Guardian. He further alleged that the former president knew that people would die as a result of this authorization.
Previously calling himself a “fighter for the Islamic State”, Abdeslam argued that “my goal is not to hurt anyone” and said that “this is genuine Islam”.