Controversial American pastor Kevin Swanson, who hosted an event with Republican presidential candidates, has said that the Paris terrorist attack victims at the Bataclan were murdered because they were "devil worshippers". Swanson said the attack, which left 89 dead at the concert hall alone, was a "message from God".
According to The Daily Beast, Swanson noted that the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal was reportedly playing the song Kiss the Devil as the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists began firing AK-47 rounds into the crowd. "There's certainly a providential irony here," Swanson said. "They went from singing about the devil to meeting the devil face-to-face."
The conservative pastor of Generations Ministries said: "When you get a wake-up call like what happened at France's 9/11 last Friday night at the concert., I think we all need to pay attention to what's happening: This is a message from God. God is shooting a shot across the bow and we better be paying attention to this."
Swanson continued on his Generations Radio show: "I think we need to ask the concertgoers, at least those who survived, did you love the devil? Did you love the devil's works as your friends were being shot up in the massacre?" However, he claimed he was not taking sides between the victims and the IS terrorists.
"These Isis devil-worshippers have pitted themselves against humanist devil-worshippers. I'm not on either side here. I'm not taking the side of the devil-worshippers performing the concert; I'm not on the side of Isis who are slaughtering the devil-worshippers inside the concert. I'm not on either side," Swanson concluded.
Despite his controversial claims about the victims of the Bataclan massacre, Swanson did call the terrorist attacks in Paris "vicious". "I don't think this is over. I think this is only going to continue," Swanson said in the nine minute long segment.
The Daily Mail noted that just two weeks before the attacks, Swanson hosted the "Freedom 2015: National Religious Liberties Conference," which was attended by Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal. Jindal has since dropped out of the race and Cruz and Huckabee have not commented on Swanson's comments.