Paris, Dec 9: A third gunman involved in last month's massacre at a Paris concert hall was identified today as a Frenchman who had visited Syria, with his father saying he "would have killed him" if he had known his plans.
Foued Mohamed-Aggad, 23, blew himself up in the bloodiest of the attacks on the French capital -- at the Bataclan concert venue, where 90 young music lovers were killed. "I would have killed him myself beforehand," his father, Said Mohamed-Aggad, told AFP after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced the name of the assailant.
"I have no words, I only found out this morning," he said. The gunman's mother went to the police after receiving a text message from Syria at the end of last month, her lawyer Francoise Cotta told AFP. "Your son died a martyr with his brothers on November 13," read the message, apparently sent by Foued's wife in Syria.
The two other Bataclan attackers -- Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, and former Paris bus driver Samy Amimour, 28 -- were also French-born and had been to Syria. Mohamed-Aggad's brother, Karim, went to Syria with him in 2013 but returned to France in May "because he couldn't take it there," the lawyer said.
He is currently in prison awaiting trial on terror charges. By contrast, Foued told his mother he was "married and very happy and had just had a child". "For him there was no question of coming back to France. He said he wanted to die as a suicide bomber in Iraq. The family had not heard from him since August," said Cotta.
After getting the text message, his mother was "terror-struck by the idea that he could have been one of the suicide attackers at the Bataclan" so she went straight to the police, the lawyer said.
"If she had not helped like that, they might never have been able to identify Foued," Cotta said. Two of the Bataclan assailants, including Mohamed-Aggad, blew themselves up with suicide belts packed with explosives after the killing spree, while the third was shot dead by police who stormed the venue with hundreds of people still inside.
Mohamed-Aggad was identified at the end of last week after his DNA matched a sample offered by his mother, Cotta said. A neighbour in the small town of Wissembourg, north of Strasbourg, told AFP that Mohamed-Aggad had lived with his mother - who was estranged from his father - until he left for Syria.