Third Bataclan attacker identified in text message

Foued Mohamed-Aggad. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Foued Mohamed-Aggad. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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The third gunman who terrorised Paris’s Bataclan concert hall before being killed last month in the attack has been identified as a Frenchman who left for Syria in 2013.

The development came after his mother received a text message announcing Foued Mohamed-Aggad’s death and gave a DNA sample to police.

The news was further confirmation that the deadly Paris attacks were carried out largely, if not entirely, by Europeans trained by the Islamic State group in Syria.

All the 13 November attackers identified so far have been from France or Belgium, native French speakers who joined Islamic State extremists.

The Bataclan attackers, who carried automatic weapons and wore suicide vests, were responsible for the worst of the carnage. Of the 130 killed in Paris that night, nearly three-quarters died at the concert venue.

Mohamed-Aggad left Strasbourg for Syria in late 2013, a French judicial official said, at a time when about a dozen young men from the eastern French city headed to the war zone. Some returned of their own will – including his brother – telling investigators they were disgusted by what they had seen.

The Frenchman many of the returnees said recruited them for IS, Mourad Fares, is also under arrest. All are charged with terror-related offences and face trial.

Mohamed-Aggad’s mother received a text message in English about ten days ago announcing her son’s death “as a martyr” on 13 November – a typical way that IS notifies families of casualties.

Then she gave French police a DNA sample which showed that one of her sons was killed inside the Bataclan, his brother’s lawyer said, confirming an account by French officials.

“Without the mother, there would have been nothing,” said the lawyer, Francoise Cotta.

Ms Cotta said Mohamed-Aggad had told his family months ago that he was going to be a suicide bomber in Iraq. She said that Mohamed-Aggad was flagged as a radical but there was no warrant for his arrest.

“What kind of human being could do what he did?” his father, Said, told a newspaper. “If I had known he would do something like this, I would have killed him.”

The other two Bataclan attackers, Omar Ismail Mostefai and Samy Amimour, were also French. Two of the three gunmen detonated their explosives when police special forces moved in.