Trial of November 13: the Eagles of Death Metal’s sense of guilt

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The ex-guitarist, Eden Galindo, and the singer, Jesse Hughes, of the rock group Eagles of Death Metal were on Tuesday before the special Assize Court of Paris. They expressed their feelings of guilt about their powerlessness to help their fans killed in the Bataclan hall during the November 13 attacks.

Two members of the American group Eagles of Death Metal, who performed on the Bataclan stage on the evening of the attacks of November 13, 2015, said on Tuesday May 17 before the Special Assize Court of Paris their guilt for not having been able to do anything to help people in their audience who fell under the bullets of the jihadists.

Ninety of the 130 victims of this night of terror in Saint-Denis and Paris died in the concert hall, and hundreds of others were injured or taken hostage by the killers sent by the Islamic State group – Samy Amimour, Ismaël Mostefai and Foued Mohamed-Aggad, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

Unlike the many victims who watched the scene as the concert, “the best of the tour”, was in full swing, Jesse Hughes faced the gunmen dressed in black when they burst into the hall of the Bataclan.

If the group’s ex-guitarist, Eden Galindo, who was in charge of the technique that evening, said he believed for a moment that the sound system had exploded, the singer of the Eagles of Death Metal (EODM) told the Assize Court immediately understood what was happening.

“I, who come from a desert community in California, know how to recognize the sound of a gunshot. I knew death was coming,” he said, breathing heavy, saying he was caught up in anxieties. which have haunted me since 2015 and which I thought I had overcome”.

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As the first bodies fell into the pit, Jesse Hughes found refuge at the side of the stage with Eden Galindo.

Controversial remarks

“I looked at the crowd, it was so dense that people did not understand what was happening”, testified Eden Galindo in a flat voice. “They were watching us but we couldn’t do anything for them… We thought it was going to stop but the shooting continued and continued… I want to tell the families of the victims that I think of them every day and pray for them.”

Eden Galindo and Jesse Hughes took advantage of a lull to escape from the back of the stage, first upstairs in search of the singer’s fiancée, then out into the street, a frantic escape, “without know where we were going”, until the meeting with an “angel”, a young Frenchman named Arthur, who put them in a taxi and sent them to the nearest police station.

It was there, among people covered in blood, that they learned of the death of their tour manager and another member of the team. That, too, of “90 friends cowardly murdered in front of us”.

Jesse Hughes had made remarks after the attacks that caused controversy, accusing Muslims as a whole of being responsible for the attacks, suspecting the security agents of the Bataclan of complicity, or even regretting that the carrying of weapons was not authorized in France.

“Evil did not win”

“As long as everyone does not have firearms, everyone must have one,” he said in 2016 on the French television channel I-Télé.

Tuesday, before the Assize Court, the singer did not return to these remarks which had caused deep unease among some survivors, and convinced several French festivals, including Rock en Seine in Paris, to cancel an EODM show. . But he apologized half-heartedly.

“After the attacks, I did a lot of soul-searching and I guess you could say I was completely out west,” he said, his voice choking with emotion.

“This tragedy turned into a beam of light, it showed me what forgiveness must be. I myself forgave these poor souls”, continued Jesse Hughes, referring to the three killers and the defendants present in the box.

“Evil did not win,” he concluded. “You can’t kill rock’n’roll.”

With Reuters

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Trial of November 13: the Eagles of Death Metal’s sense of guilt

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