Our Hearts Break as Paris Attacker's Father Reacts to His Son Being a Murderer

ParisThere are so many things for a parent to fear. We can imagine many of those things ... the worst-case scenarios, the nightmare scenarios, the many, many ways our children can be hurt, or lost, or worse. But to imagine being the parents of one of the mass murderers behind the Paris attacks? It's an impossibly horrific task.

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The third gunman involved in the Bataclan massacre has been identified: Foued Mohamed-Aggad, 23, who reportedly blew himself up after the bloody rampage. And his father says he would have taken his son's life if he had known his plans.

Unfathomable? Perhaps.

"I would have killed him myself beforehand," Said Mohamed-Aggad told the French press after his son's name was released. "I have no words, I only found out this morning."

I can't imagine what words you could have in a situation like this. Thinking about what the victims' families are going through is terrible, and utterly heartbreaking. But to think about the families left behind by their murderous loved ones -- what must that be like?

Foued's mother found out that her son was dead via a text message -- a message she must have hoped beyond hope was a cruel prank.

"Your son died a martyr with his brothers on November 13," said the message, reportedly sent by Foued's wife in Syria. The gunman's mother went straight to the police. And so her waking nightmare unraveled.

Can you imagine?

I can't. It's something no parent should have to imagine ... our precious children turning so far toward the darkness that they are lost to us forever. That their memories are haunted by the hatred of the world. That in their wake they left sorrow and destruction.

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People like Foued's parents, unless proven to have been complicit,  deserve our heartfelt sympathy as much as any of the others who lost lives in the massacre. Foued wasn't innocent. But his parents were. And they've lost their baby, in so many ways.

 

Image via © Sylvain Sonnet/Corbis

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