ISIS Essay In French Addresses Judge Presiding Over Trial Of 2015 Paris Attack Perpetrators, Praises Surviving Terrorist Abdeslam: The Attacks Were Justified Revenge Against Anti-ISIS Coalition

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October 14, 2021

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On October 10, 2021, the Islamic State's (ISIS) An-Nur Media Center released a three-page essay in French titled "To Mr. Jean-Pierre Périès,[1] President of the [Special Criminal Assize] Court, [and] to All French People."[2] The essay addressed the head of the French court convened for the trial of twenty people accused of involvement in the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, which were claimed by ISIS.[3] The trial began on September 8, 2021, with victims of the attack giving their testimonies beginning on September 28. The defendants include 14 who are present in Paris, including Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving attacker, and six others, who are being tried in absentia.


The first page of the essay, showing an ISIS fighter aiming his weapon at French judge Jean-Louis Périès; Abdeslam is shown at left

The essay justifies the Paris attacks by comparing the havoc they caused to the suffering experienced by residents of areas controlled by ISIS in eastern Syria at the hands of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS Coalition, which includes France, and implicitly threatens Périès, while praising the surviving attacker, Abdeslam.

It should be noted that the Belgian-born Abdeslam has made similar statements during his ongoing trial. The defendant told the court: "We attacked France, targeted its population, civilians, but there was nothing personal... [Former French President] François Hollande knew the risks he was taking by attacking the Islamic State in Syria." Abdeslam added that French aircraft had killed women and children in Syria, and that therefore "we wanted France to go through the same pain."[4]

The first page of the essay depicts a masked ISIS fighter aiming a rifle at Périès, while the second page shows several of the Paris attackers, most of whom were killed, and the third page shows a group of armed ISIS fighters.


The second page of the essay, showing ten of the ISIS operatives involved in the November 2015 Paris attacks

"For us, every day is another November 13," the article states, relating anecdotes of innocent women and children who were violently killed by a "coalition of eighty countries," including events alleged to have occurred in the towns of Tabqa, Raqqa, Al-Mayadin, and Baghouz. One of the stories, for example, tells of a breastfeeding mother who saw her baby's head fly off in an airstrike and lost her own legs. The An-Nur essay continues: "This is only a sample. And you are crying over your November 13."

An-Nur presents the Paris attacks as just revenge for the "genocide" carried out by the coalition in Syria, telling France: "You will be tried on Judgment Day and there will be many regrets, and the truth will be revealed."

The essay then praises "our brother Salah Abdeslam," who "understood that his loyalty is […] to Allah only." An-Nur acknowledges Abdeslam as an ISIS operative, noting that "the brother […] was one of the soldiers of the Islamic State. Together they all planned this operation."

 

[1] The correct name is Jean-Louis Périès.

[2] Telegram.me/ Infos An-Nur, October 10, 2021.

[4] France24.com, September 15, 2021; Bbc.com, September 15, 2021.

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