French interior minister said there is a “strong presumption” that Maxime Hauchard is among the group of Islamist extremist fighters in the video released over the weekend of Syrian military officers and an American aid worker being executed.

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PARIS // A young Frenchman is believed to be among the killers on an ISIL propaganda video showing a beheaded American aid worker and the deaths of more than a dozen Syrian soldiers, France’s top security official said on Monday.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said there is a “strong presumption” that Maxime Hauchard is among the group of Islamist extremist fighters in the video released over the weekend. He urged young people in France to “open your eyes to the terrible reality” of the militant group.

Another foreigner appearing in the video is believed to be British.

Ahmed Muthana told the Daily Mail newspaper his 20-year-old son Nasser Muthana appeared to be among a group of 16 militants who were seen on the video.

“I cannot be certain, but it looks like my son,” said Ahmed Muthana, who lives in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff.

Mr Cazeneuve said authorities were analysing the video and have been investigating Mr Hauchard, who is around 22 years old and from west of Paris. The convert to Islam gave an interview to France’s BFM television in July, telling the network he had helped in the capture of Mosul, the Iraqi city whose fall eventually prompted the United States to resume military operations there.

“I call solemnly and seriously on all our citizens, and notably our young people who are the primary target of the terrorist propaganda, to open your eyes to the terrible reality of the actions of Daesh,” Mr Cazeneuve said, using an Arabic acronym for the group. “These are criminals that are building a system of barbarity.”

French citizens make up the largest contingent of European Islamist fighters who have joined extremists in Syria and Iraq. According to the Paris prosecutor’s office, about 1,100 people have been placed under surveillance, and 95 people face charges.

Mr Hauchard, who is believed to have arrived in Syria in 2013, is among those under judicial investigation, Mr Cazeneuve said.

In the July interview, Mr Hauchard said he was expecting and hoping for death.

“From a personal point of view, my objective is to be a martyr,” Mr Hauchard said.

Meanwhile, a pair of car bombs targeted busy commercial areas in the Iraqi capital on Monday, killing at least 14 people and wounding 31, officials said.

In the first attack, a car detonated on a commercial street in the Meshtal neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding 15, police officials said.

The second car bombing took place in Baghdad’s western Amiriya district, also hitting a commercial street and killing at least six people and wounding 16 there.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for either of Monday’s blasts.

* Associated Press