PARIS — A shaken father told reporters Wednesday that he never knew his son had returned to France after a stint in Syria.
If he’d found out, Said Mohamed-Aggad said he wouldn’t have let his son join the ranks of attackers who unleashed carnage at the Bataclan theater in Paris last month.
“I would have killed him beforehand,” he said in an interview with French media that aired on CNN affiliate BFMTV.
Instead, Foued Mohamed-Aggad, a 23-year-old from eastern France who traveled to Syria two years ago, blew himself up.
His name was first reported Wednesday by CNN affiliates BFMTV and France 2, who described him as the third gunman who stormed the Eagles of Death Metal concert as part of a series of shootings and explosions in Paris on November 13. The attackers sprayed gunfire and slaughtered people inside the concert hall for 20 horrific minutes. Ninety people were killed.
From Strasbourg to Syria
Foued Mohamed-Aggad was from a small town near Strasbourg, BFMTV and France 2 reported. He went to Syria in 2013, the stations said.
BFM also said Mohamed-Aggad was close to Mourad Fares, one of the main jihadist recruiters in France.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls confirmed “the name being circulated” was correct.
Mohamed-Aggad was known to French anti-terrorism services and had a police record in Strasbourg, France 2 reported.
His father told reporters that his son, who was born and grew up in France, had been brainwashed and become another person.
A single white rose
In all, the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 killed 130 people and wounded more than 350.
A radio reporter who attended the Bataclan concert described the attackers there as calm and determined, telling CNN they reloaded their weapons three or four times.
President Barack Obama paid a midnight tribute to the victims last week, laying a single white rose at the Bataclan.
Besides Mohamed-Aggad, the other attackers at the theater had also traveled to war zones in the Middle East. They were Samy Amimour, a 28-year-old from Paris who fought in Yemen, and Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old from Courcouronnes, a Paris suburb, who traveled to Syria in 2013.
“We ask ourselves the question every day: What happened, why?” Amimour’s sister, Anna, told CNN’s Hala Gorani late last month. “He was in the same womb as me. We grew up together, so how did our paths end up so far apart?”