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‘Failed suicide bomber’ claims he ‘changed mind’ about Paris ISIS attack

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suspected suicide bomber accused of being a key member of an ISIS attack on Paris that killed 130 people claimed he backed out of detonating his explosive vest after ‘changing his mind’.

Salah Abdeslam, a self-avowed Islamic State combatant, told a court on Wednesday he chose not to set off his device during the jihadist rampage across Paris in November 2015.

A French national of Moroccan origin, Abdeslam said he had pledged allegiance to Islamic State 48 hours before the Paris attacks, the deadliest in postwar France, but that he had harmed no one.

“I experienced a situation that not many people have experienced, people who took a step back, who changed their minds,” Abdeslam, 32, told the court.

“You’re there in prison, you say to yourself, ‘I should have triggered the thing’. That’s what you think when you’re in solitary confinement.”

Investigators believe Abdeslam is the lone surviving member of the Islamist commando that carried out the synchronised gun and bomb attacks on six restaurants and bars, the Bataclan concert hall and national soccer stadium.

They allege his explosive vest failed to detonate and that hours later he fled the French capital. He was arrested in Belgium in 2016 and has been held in jail since.

With two armed police standing close behind him, Abdeslam told the court he was not responsible for any deaths.

BELGIAN FEDERAL POLICE/AFP via G

“I wanted to say today that I did not kill anyone and I did not hurt anyone. Not even a scratch,” Abdeslam said in a short address to the court before questioning began.

“It’s important for me to say this, because since the beginning of this case, people have not stopped slandering me.”

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