The suspects in the Paris attacks were thinking in a cafe: ‘I will not allow this bomb belt to be activated’

The 32-year-old Frenchman says he deliberately did not detonate a belt with a bomb in a cafe in the French capital while it was his job.

Ordered a drink

“My task was to go to a café in the 18th Paris Arrondissement,” the main suspect testified at the trial. “When I arrived, I ordered a drink, looked at the people around me and decided: no, I’m not doing it. Not out of cowardice, not out of fear, but simply because I didn’t want to,” says Abdeslam. It has previously been suggested that his bomb belt would not work.

The confession of the suspect sounded like thunder in the courtroom, according to the French newspaper Le Monde. Abdeslam has so far remained largely silent during a trial that began in September last year.

He didn’t dare

During his testimony, he also said that he was aware of the plans only two days before the attack. It happened in Charleroi, Belgium, where he was informed by the organizer of the attack, Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Abdeslam said he was “shocked” but was persuaded to participate. He had previously thought he would be sent to Syria.

Yesterday, co-accused Mohamed Abrini said that Abdeslama was hit on the head by the organizer of the attack when it turned out that he did not blow himself up. After the attack, Abdeslam was asked why he did not use a lighter or cigarette to detonate his belt. According to Abrini, Abdeslam did not dare to commit the attack.

130 people were killed in the attacks in Paris. 20 people are on trial, of whom only Abdeslam was directly involved in the attacks. Others helped him or other attackers, for example, by shelter or driving a car.

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