From the moment President Obama began speaking last night at his final State of the Union address, you knew he was a free man. Gone was the stiff formality of the event from years past, replaced by a light-hearted introduction in which he jokingly promised a shorter speech so the presidential candidates in the room could get back to Iowa.
PARIS (AP) — It took a text message from Syria to a mother in northeast France to reveal the identity of the third killer at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris: Your son died as a martyr Nov. 13. For nearly four weeks, police had failed to identify the third gunman who stormed the concert venue along with two French Islamic extremists, killing nearly three-quarters of the total 130 people who died in the Paris attacks. Then, about 10 days ago, Foued Mohamed-Aggad's mother in Strasbourg received a text message in English announcing her son's death "as a martyr" — a typical way that the Islamic State group notifies families of casualties. She gave French police a DNA sample which showed that one of her sons was killed inside the Bataclan, his brother's lawyer said, confirming an account by French officials, who requested anonymity to release details of the investigation. "Without the mother, there would have been nothing," said the lawyer, Francoise Cotta. The news announced Wednesday further confirms that the deadly Paris attacks were carried out largely, if not entirely, by Europeans trained by Islamic State extremists. All the Nov. 13 attackers identified so far have been from France or Belgium, native French speakers who wanted to join IS extremists. The Bataclan attackers, who carried automatic weapons and wore suicide vests, were responsible for the worst of the carnage. Mohamed-Aggad left Strasbourg for Syria in December 2013, a French judicial offi