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PARIS TERROR ATTACKS

PARIS TERROR ATTACKS

Father of Bataclan killer: ‘I would have killed him’

The shamed father of the third attacker who killed 90 concert-goers at the Bataclan said if he had known what his son was going to do, he would have killed him earlier.

Father of Bataclan killer: 'I would have killed him'
Photo: Screengrab/BFM TV

Speaking to Le Parisien newspaper the father of the 23-year-old Foued Mohamed Aggad said that he would have rather his son had died in Syria or Iraq than return to France and commit the atrocity at the Bataclan.

Saïd Mohamed-Abbag said: “What human being could do that? If I had known that one day he would do something like that, I would have killed him earlier.”

Earlier on Wednesday Abbag’s 23-year-old son Foued was identified as the last of the three attackers at the Bataclan, after Samy Animour, 28 and Ismaël Omar Mostefai, 29 had previously been named as his accomplices.

Foued was originally from Strasbourg, but became radicalized and then travelled to Syria with his brother and some others from the area in late 2013.

While the others in his group were either killed or returned home to face prison, Foued remained in Syria until he headed back to France to take part in the Paris attacks on November 13th.

His family only suspected he may have been involved in the attacks when his mum received a text message from a Syrian number which said her son had died a “martyr” in Paris.

She then contacted police who took DNA samples from the family.

“He lied to us,” said his father. “He led us to believe he was going on holiday, but instead went to Syria. Since 2013 I haven’t been able to sleep.

“He was a quiet child. He was born and raised in France. He was educated in France.”

He presumed that his son would die in a bombing raid in Syria or Iraq, rather than head back to France.

The last time they had contact was four or five months ago during a phone conversation.

“As usual he said nothing of his daily life, where he was or what he did. He just answered every question OK, OK and spoke of jihad.”

After a while the father lost all contact with his son.

“What can you do? It was not him anymore. It was someone else whom I was speaking to. It was someone who had been brainwashed. It served no purpose to try and communicate with him,” said Saïd.

Like his brother Karim, the first sign that Foued had become radicalized was when he began to grow his beard and pray.

“We could not imagine what would happen next. Honestly, we couldn’t understand it and couldn’t see this coming.”

TERRORISM

Historic trial begins in Paris over November 2015 terror attacks

The biggest trial in France's modern legal history begins on Wednesday over the November 2015 attacks on Paris that saw 130 people killed at bars, restaurants, the Stade de France and the Bataclan concert hall.

Historic trial begins in Paris over November 2015 terror attacks
A memorial to the 130 victims of the November 13th attacks in Paris. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP

The suicide bombing and gun assault by three teams of jihadists, planned from Syria and later claimed by the Islamic State group, was France’s worst post-war atrocity.

The only surviving attacker, Salah Abdeslam, will be in the dock at the purpose-built facility at the historic court of justice on the Île de la Cité in central Paris, along with 13 other defendants.

Six others are being tried in absentia. Twelve of the 20 people on trial, including Abdeslam, face life sentences if convicted.

“We are entering the unknown,” said Arthur Denouveaux, a survivor of the Bataclan music venue attack and president of Life for Paris, a victims’ association. “We can’t wait for it to start, but we’re asking, How will it be for the next nine months?”

The trial will last until May 2022, with 145 days for hearings involving about 330 lawyers, 300 victims and former president François Hollande, who will testify in November.

The case file runs to a million pages in 542 volumes, measuring 53 metres across.

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti this week described the trial as “historic” and “one of all superlatives” as he inspected the courtroom.

Surviving gunman Abdeslam, now 31, who was born in Belgium but has French and Moroccan nationality, fled the scene of the carnage after abandoning his suicide belt, which investigators later found to be defective.

He was captured four months later in Brussels, hiding in a building close to his family home.

Abdeslam has resolutely refused to cooperate with the French investigation and remained largely silent throughout a separate trial in Belgium in 2018, where he declared only that he put his “trust in Allah” and that the court was biased.

A major question is whether he will speak at his scheduled testimony, set for mid-January.

Another focus of the trial will be on how the squad of killers managed to enter France undetected, allegedly using the flow of migrants from Islamic State-controlled regions of Syria as cover.

Fourteen of the accused – who face charges ranging from providing logistical support to planning the attacks as well as weapons offences – are expected to be present in court.

They include a Swedish national, Osama Krayem, who Belgian investigators have identified as one of the killers of a Jordanian pilot burned alive in a cage by Isis in early 2015 in Syria. He is also under investigation in Sweden for war crimes.

The alleged coordinator, Belgian national Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed by French police northeast of Paris five days after the attacks.

Of the six tried in absentia, five are presumed dead, mainly in air strikes in Syria.

The horror was unleashed late on the night of Friday, November 13th, when jihadists detonated suicide belts outside the Stade de France stadium where Hollande was in the crowd watching France play a football match against Germany. One man was killed there.

A group of Islamist gunmen, including Abdeslam’s brother Brahim, later opened fire from a car on half a dozen restaurants in the trendy 10th and 11th Arrondissements of the capital, which were packed with people on the balmy autumn evening.

The massacre culminated at the Bataclan music venue. Three jihadists stormed in during a performance, killing a total of 90 people.

While the trial’s initial phase will be devoted to procedural issues, testimonies are expected to begin on September 28th from some 300 survivors and relatives of victims for five weeks of harrowing statements.

Security forces will be on high alert.

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