A neighbour of one of the Paris attackers said that he was “very nice”… until he lost his job.
“We never thought he would [carry out terrorist attacks],” the neighbour said. “Never, ever, ever. It’s because of the people around him.”
The man — who didn’t reveal his identity — lived next to Samy Amimour, one of the gunmen who blew himself up in the Bataclan theatre during Friday’s Paris attacks, in the Paris suburb of Drancy.
“He used to be very nice, he was a bus driver,” the man told Reuters. “But then he got fired from his job, and because of that he started to attend mosques more and more often, and then he went to Syria.”
The neighbour said he had heard that police were tracking Amimour’s movements, and that Amimour wasn’t able to leave the neighbourhood. Apparently, this drove him to flee to Syria in 2013.
“The kid was fed up being under surveillance, so he wanted to run away,” he said. “That’s what I heard, he didn’t tell me, it’s just people talking. And after, he asked his parents to leave for Syria, to escape there.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls refused to comment about how Amimour managed to get back into France despite having an arrest warrant for terrorism-related activity.
Story by Allan Smith and editing by Ben Nigh
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