In the 118th edition of Al-Naba, the Islamic State’s newsletter, there was an acknowledgment of Salah Abdeslam as a “brother”. Abdeslam is a Belgian citizen of Moroccan extraction, who acted as a logistician and facilitator for the 13 November 2015 massacre in Paris, though failed on the night to carry out his own part in the atrocity. Abdeslam is one of the few conspirators involved in the Paris attacks and the subsequent bombing in Brussels on 22 March 2016 who is still alive. The significance of this is that IS has generally ignored its operatives if they end up being arrested, and Abdeslam is an acute case of this: he has never been acknowledged in IS’s propaganda since the Paris attack, notably being excluded from the twelfth issue of IS’s Dabiq magazine released on 18 November 2015 that named the Paris attackers and described how the operation was carried out. The Naba article is reproduced below.
* * * * *
Events in the Week
Salah Abdeslam to the Belgian court: “There is no judgment, except from God”.
The media reported that the brother, Salah Abdeslam, expressed his reluctance to attend the court of the taghut, which is the trial, declaring its kufr [disbelief], and his indifference to its procedures and rulings.
The lawyer who was appointed by the Crusaders to plead on behalf of brother Saleh said that he [Abdeslam] did not recognize the legitimacy of the court that was trying him, and that—God preserve him—he state that there is no law except God’s, declaring his disbelief in the taghut and all the laws governing the court.
He also expressed his defiance of the crusader government of Belgium and its courts by saying: “I put my trust in God, I am not afraid of you or your allies, I put my faith in God alone.”
The media pointed to another scene in which the brother—may god be pleased with him—dealt with the court by refusing to stand in a previous session of the trial when the judge asked him to answer a question he had asked him, referring to exhaustion and fatigue, which was widely covered in the media, in France and Belgium in particular.
By refusing to attend trial sessions, this means that they will continue to be sentenced in absentia, and prevent him being able to appeal against the sentence imposed on him by al-tawaghit. We ask God to vindicate and release him and all other Muslims.
The brother Salah Abdeslam was accused by the Crusaders of participating in the planning and preparation of several attacks carried out by the soldiers of the caliphate in France and Belgium during the past years, killing and wounding hundreds of mushrikeen [idolaters, polytheists].
* * * * *
 Other members of the Islamic State’s terrorist cell in Paris and Brussels still alive include:
- Mohammad Abrini, another Belgian of Moroccan descent, was involved in planning the Paris and Brussels attacks; he was arrested in Belgium in April 2016.
- Usama Krayem, a Swedish citizen from Malmo, was involved in the logistics of the Paris-Brussels cell, buying suitcases for the bombs used in Brussels, among other things. Krayem also at one point used the name “Naim al-Hamed” and carried a fake Syrian passport. Krayem was arrested days after Abdeslam in April 2016.
- A number of members of IS’s amn al-kharji, its foreign intelligence wing, based in Syria, who orchestrated the attacks are also still alive. One such person is Usama Atar, a Belgian of Moroccan background, who was responsible for “recruiting, training, and sending at least some of the individuals to Paris” and “recruited and mentored two of the bombers” for Brussels. Frenchman Fabien Clain read the statement claiming the Paris attacks, and likely had foreknowledge of the plan since he said there had been an attack in the 18th arrondisement, where in fact Salah Abdeslam failed to complete his part in the mission. Another Frenchman, Salim Benghalem, certainly had a role in the Paris attacks, perhaps a leading operational role—above the better-known Abdelhamid Abaaoud. And then there is Abdelilah Himich (Abu Sulayman al-Firansi), also French, who leads amn al-kharji.