Paris attack suspect says death of 130 people 'nothing personal'

A suspect tied to the Islamic State group who helped carry out a series of deadly attacks in Paris in 2015 says that the resulting deaths of 130 people were “nothing personal.”

“We fought France, we attacked France, we targeted the civilian population. It 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 dig the knife deeper in the wound but to be sincere towards those who are suffering immeasurable grief.”

Abdeslam is considered to be the last remaining survivor among the Islamic State members who carried out gunfire and suicide bomb attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015. The members violently attacked several locations in Paris, including the Stade de France, restaurants and a concert hall, Reuters reported

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The 2015 attacks are considered the mostly deadly event in France since World War II, the AP noted. 

In connection to the attacks, Abdeslam appeared to help transport three members who later conducted a suicide bombing at the national soccer stadium, the AP noted. It is believed that he also tried to carry out a suicide bombing himself that was never realized, according to The Guardian.

Following the violence, he was suspected of calling people in Belgium to pick him up while he was hiding in the south of Paris. 

Abdeslam said that the attacks were carried out in response to airstrikes conducted by France in Iraq and Syria at the time. 

“François Hollande knew the risks he was taking in attacking the Islamic State in Syria,” Abdeslam said, referring to strikes in Syria that had been authorised 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 that authorization.

Previously dubbing himself a “fighter for the Islamic State,” Abdeslam, argued that “my goal is not to hurt anyone” and said that “it’s about authentic Islam.”