Court hears of family life and terrorist trajectories of slain Bataclan killers

On Friday, the special criminal court in Paris continued to hear evidence of anonymous police investigators, this time on the terrorist careers of the three Bataclan killers: Sami Amimour, Ismaël Mostefaï and Fouad Mohamed Aggad.

Amimour appears to have become interested in Islam when he was still in school, using the internet as his source of information. His family date his radicalisation to 2012, during a time when he was attending a mosque in the northern Paris suburbs of Le Blanc-Mesnil.

Amimour told one of his sisters that France "was a country of unbelievers". He left for the Syrian war zone in late 2013, having earlier tried to join a jihadist group in Somalia.

He returned via Belgium to take part in the November 2015 Paris massacres.

Mostefaï, who met Amimour for the first time as they both made their way to Syria via Turkey, grew up in a strict Muslim family.

"The religious environment was extremely intense," the police officer told the court.

The family kept his departure for Syria secret and helped Mostefaï's wife to rejoin him there. It is not clear whether they cooperated with police investigating their son's terrorist activities.

Mohamed Aggad seems to have been radicalised in the course of 2013 by the internet preacher Mourad Farès.

Aggad and a brother left for Syria later that same year, apparently with the approval of the family, with whom Aggad remained in contact. They seem to have been aware of his determination to die a martyr's death. The brother returned to France.

How Aggad was chosen as the third member of the Bataclan terror squad remains unclear to investigators.

'Kill where you can'

All three men are seen in the Islamic State propaganda video "Kill them where you can", released after the Paris attacks.

In the film, an edited version of which was viewed at an earlier sitting of the tribunal, each of the three makes a speech extolling rigorous islamic principles while brandishing a knife about the head of a bound captive dressed in an orange jump suit, intended to evoke the prisoners held in the US military facility at Guantanamo.

Each then proceeds to behead the victim.

"This blood pact was very important for Islamic State," the court was told. "When you cut the throat of a defenceless hostage in front of a camera, there's no turning back!"

The three terrorists died in the police assault on the Paris music venue on the night of 13 November 2015, having themselves murdered 90 people and injured hundreds of others.

The trial continues.

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