Paris attacks suspect ‘radicalised’ since arrest — One year after attack that killed 130 — Bataclan Re-Opens Tonight

AFP

© Police Nationale/AFP/File | Salah Abdeslam is the sole surviving member of the group behind the November 2015 Paris attacks

THE HAGUE (AFP) – The main Paris attacks suspect, Salah Abdeslam, has become even more radicalised since being imprisoned for his presumed role in the slaughter of 130 people a year ago, his former lawyer has said.

“He’s got a beard, he’s become a true fundamentalist whereas before he was a kid wearing Nike trainers,” Belgian lawyer Sven Mary told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant’s Saturday edition.

Belgian-born French national Abdeslam is believed to be the only jihadist survivor of the November 13 attacks in the French capital that Belgian authorities claim were orchestrated by the Islamic State high command.

After four months on the run, the 27-year-old of Moroccan origin was arrested in Brussels in March and subsequently transferred to France in April.

Lawyer Mary said Abdeslam’s detention conditions at a prison in the Parisian suburb of Fleury-Merogis amounted to “psychological torture” and had contributed to his apparent radicalisation.

He is kept in solitary confinement and subjected to round-the-clock video surveillance.

Abdeslam is accused of having provided logistical support to the seven jihadists who died at the various scenes of the terror attacks: the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade de France national stadium and several bars and restaurants in central Paris.

In July, his lawyers had attempted unsuccessfully to end the constant surveillance, but authorities had deemed the “exceptional character of terrorist acts” as justifying that “all precautions are taken”.

Last month both Mary and another lawyer, Frank Berton, gave up defending Abdeslam over his refusal to answer investigators’ questions since being transferred to France.

Mary said then that the lawyers felt they were doing nothing more than paying “social visits to the prison” and had decided to quit the defence.

Abdeslam’s brother Mohamed last month urged him to speak to French authorities but also said he felt Salah “is more radicalised now, rather than de-radicalised”.

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Paris’s Bataclan Set for a Defiant Reopening a Year After Massacre

Sting set to perform Saturday at fully renovated music venue

French policemen and security officers stand guard at the entrance of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Saturday, a few hours before a concert by British musician Sting.
French policemen and security officers stand guard at the entrance of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Saturday, a few hours before a concert by British musician Sting. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

PARIS—A year after a hail of bullets left 90 people dead at Paris’s Bataclan music hall, the venue is set to reopen Saturday with a concert by British artist Sting, a showing of defiance for a city torn apart by the terror attacks of Nov. 13, 2015.

The former frontman of U.K. rock group The Police will re-christen the stage with a one-hour set at a venue that has been completely renovated. No physical traces of the attacks remain at the Bataclan: The AK-47 rounds that once riddled the theater walls are gone; in their place is fresh paint and a brightened entrance.

Sting said he agreed to perform there “first, to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theater represents.”

Family members of those who died at the Bataclan have been offered free tickets to the show. All proceeds will go to associations set up to help survivors and families of the attack victims.

The concert comes on the eve of the anniversary of the Islamic State terror attacks that ripped through the French capital, killing 130 people in total. U.S. rock group The Eagles of Death Metal were in the middle of a set at the Bataclan that night when three French-born terrorists stormed the venue and opened fire. All of the band members escaped, but the group’s merchandise seller, Nick Alexander, was killed.

Terrorists attacked the Bataclan Music Theater in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015. Helen Wilson is one of the survivors. Photo: Ed Alcock for The Wall Street Journal

Bataclan President Jérôme Langlet told reporters ahead of the reopening that he wanted the venue to be a celebrated part of Paris’s music scene and not a monument to tragedy. “One year on from the attacks, France and the entire world will see that the Bataclan is alive again,” he said.

Other Parisian nightspots hit by attacks that night—cafes, restaurants and bars—have also reopened despite the discomfort some feel in resurrecting venues tarnished by the carnage. A number of French artists have turned down the opportunity to play at the Bataclan, saying it was too soon for them to perform and celebrate in the hall where so many people were murdered.

On the day of the anniversary itself, the Bataclan will be closed. Instead, French President François Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo will visit the six venues targeted by the attacks. Six plaques will be unveiled with the names of the victims at each location, Mr. Hollande’s office said.

A minute’s silence was held at Paris’s Stade de France on Friday evening to mark the anniversary of the attacks. Speaking ahead of a soccer match between France and Sweden at the national stadium, Mr. Hollande said it was important to remember the attacks not only to honor the dead but also to show solidarity and support to those who survived.

“If we are strong, if we are together, then we will defeat terrorism,” he said.

Government security officials gave their green light for the Bataclan to reopen last week and 24 concerts have been scheduled there, by artists including Pete Doherty, Marianne Faithful and The Flaming Lips.

New York alternative rock band Nada Surf said they wanted to return to one of their favorite music venues as a show of defiance toward the terrorists and would play on Dec. 2. Band member Matthew Caws asked his managers to set up a show at the reopened Bataclan almost immediately after the attack last year.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/pariss-bataclan-set-for-a-defiant-reopening-a-year-after-massacre-1478954892

“Because of what happened there we wanted to play our part in showing business should continue as usual,” he said. “We felt that changing one’s life isn’t the answer.”

Write to Nick Kostov at Nick.Kostov@wsj.com

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One Response to “Paris attacks suspect ‘radicalised’ since arrest — One year after attack that killed 130 — Bataclan Re-Opens Tonight”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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