Thursday 8 December 2016

Gunman's father speaks of his shock at 'good boy's' actions

Published 24/08/2015 | 02:30

Mohamed el-Khazzani said that his son Ayoub (pictured) was a “good boy” and expressed incredulity at his actions
Mohamed el-Khazzani said that his son Ayoub (pictured) was a “good boy” and expressed incredulity at his actions

The father of the gunman who tried to commit a massacre on an international train has spoken of his shock.

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Mohamed el-Khazzani said that his son Ayoub (above) was a "good boy" and expressed incredulity at his actions.

"I have no idea what he was thinking," Mr Khazzani said at his home in Algeciras, Spain. "He was a good boy."

Between sobs, the gunman's father said his son "never talked politics, just football and fishing".

Mr Khazzani, a father of four born in Morocco in 1950, who recycles materials for a living in one of Algeciras' poorest areas, El Saladillo, said that after a troubled spell in Madrid, when he was arrested twice for selling hashish in 2009, his son had given up smoking the drug.

Ayoub El-Khezzani's lawyer said her client does not understand the attention or even that a person was wounded. For him, there were no gunshots fired, Sophie David said. "He is dumbfounded that his action is characterised as terrorism," she said.

He described himself as homeless and claims to have found the weapons in a park near the Brussels train station where he had been sleeping, stashed them for several days and then decided to hold up train passengers.

"He thought of a hold-up to be able to feed himself, to have money," she said, then "shoot out a window and jump out to escape."

Irish Independent

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