Salah Abdeslam ‘changed his mind in suicide plan’

Prosecutors say Paris suspect told investigators he decided against blowing himself up at the Stade de France stadium.

File of a Handout picture shows Belgian-born Abdeslam Salah seen on a call for witnesses notice released by the French Police Nationale information services on their twitter account
A handout picture shows Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam seen on a call for witnesses notice released by the French Police [Reuters]

Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect for the Paris attacks, has told investigators he planned to blow himself up at the Stade de France but then changed his mind, the Paris prosecutor said.

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“Salah Abdesalam today, during questioning by investigators, affirmed that, and I quote, ‘he wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France and that he had backed down’,” Francois Molins told reporters, adding that Abdeslam’s initial statements should be treated with caution.

The prosecutor said that, at worst, it could take three months for Abdeslam to be handed over to France after the 26-year old said he would oppose extradition to his homeland.

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Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland, reporting from Brussels, said that proceedings against Abdeslam were expected to begin before Sunday.

Rowland added that French investigators were keen to interview him about other suspects.

Molins said Abdesalam had played a “central role” in the planning and logistics of the gun and bomb attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

He cited several trips across Europe in July, September, October and November that included transporting others linked to the attacks.

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Molins also said Abdeslam had bought detonators and oxygenated water used for the fabrication of explosives.

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“His first statements, that we must take with precaution, leave unanswered a series of questions on which Abdeslam will have to explain, in particular, his presence in the 18th district of Paris on November 13 at 22h (10pm),” Molins said.

“He will also have to explain the reasons why he decided to finally abandon his suicide belt.”

ISIL, which says it carried out the attacks, had in a claim of responsibility described each of the locations struck, including the 18th district of the French capital, where no attack actually took place.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies