Salah Abdeslam, the only survivor of the jihadist commandos from the Paris attacks on November 13th 2015, in Paris, confided hitherto unknown information. This was in a letter to a women who has been writing to him whilst in prison. Extracts of this letter are published in Libération today (Friday).
The prisoner subject to the greatest amount of surveillance, since his imprisonment on April 27th in Fleury-Mérogis Prison (south of Paris), Salah Abdeslam has continually refused to speak to judges.
“However, in an undated letter, included in the case file on October 11th, he has proven to be quite talkative,” Libération writes.
The newspaper has published verbatim certain extracts of this letter, including spelling mistakes.
The letter begins thus: “I am writing to you without knowing how our correspondence began. I received all of your letters and cannot tell you whether or not they have given me any pleasure. What is truly certain is that they have allowed me to spend some time with the outside world.”
Libération stresses that Salah Abdeslam goes on, in small yet regular writing, “…firstly, I have no fear of revealing anything about myself, as I have no shame in what I am and, of course, what can I say that is worse than has been said already?”
“When you write to me you are honest so I will be as well. Although I am asking you what your intentions are in writing to me, it is to reassure myself that not you do not love me as if I were simply a ‘star or an idol’, because I receive a lot of mail like that and I do not approve of it. The only individual who deserves to be loved in that way is Allah, God of the universe,” he writes.
Libération states that Abdeslam received numerous letters but may only have responded to this woman, whose final letter came from a post office in the Côte-d’Or département (in the west of France).
He goes on, “I am not seeking either to elevate myself on this earth or to perpetrate lawlessness. I only want reform. I am a Muslim, that is to say I have surrendered to Allah…Have you surrendered to him? If not then you must hurry up, repent of your sins and surrender to Him. Do not listen to what people are saying but rather the words of your God. He will guide you.”
This letter was seized on 11th October, the day before the lawyers Frank Berton and Sven Mary announced that they had ceased acting for him. They were prevented professionally from acting by Abdeslam’s silence, Libération states.