The gunmen behind France’s worst terrorist attack in decades appear to have been easy prey for recruiters to violent jihad.

The children of immigrants, with seemingly chaotic family lives, they were frustrated by injustices they perceived around them and had been trying to make their way with few means, according to court records and experts who study terrorism networks.

“These were people who were marginalized, who broke with society. They went to prison, and they became radicalized because they needed to be heroes,” said Christophe Crepin, spokesman for a French police union. “In the end, they’re just barbarous assassins.”

Their path to radicalization began in the seething immigrant neighborhoods on the edges of Paris.

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