Europe’s first female suicide bomber, 26-year-old Hasna Ait Boulahcen, blew herself up during the Saint-Denis police raid. However, the female jihadi’s brother says that she had “no interest in religion” and had only been radicalized one month ago. In fact, she only started wearing a hijab in the last few weeks and, prior to that, was known as a “party girl” with many different boyfriends. Hasna’s brother, Youssouf Ait Boulahcen, claims the woman had only abandoned her former lifestyle of drinking, smoking, and partying in the last month to join ISIS.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) November 19, 2015
The Daily Mail reports that Hasna Ait Boulahcen, Europe’s first female suicide bomber, was not always a radical jihadi. In fact, photos of the woman paint a picture of a girl who liked to party, drink, and smoke before turning to ISIS a month ago. Photographs of the female terrorist show her relaxing in a bathtub with her breast exposed and her face covered in heavy makeup. She also posted photos of her time out on the town, which included drinking and smoking. Her brother says that in addition to her “party girl” status, she was also known for having many different boyfriends. However, that all changed in recent months with the woman putting on a hijab a month ago, hiding her body for the first time.
Dünkü intihar bombacısı Hasna Boulahcen hayatında hiç Kuran okumamış sonradan müslüman. https://t.co/3rsoH3y3BI pic.twitter.com/yYGw9bBrGM
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) November 19, 2015
The female suicide bomber was a French-Moroccan national who grew up in the Paris region. She even ran her own business in the area called Beko Construction until 2012. The woman’s brother, Youssouf Ait Boulahcen, says that up until last month, his sister had never read the Koran and had “no interest in religion.” However, Hasna began showing interest in the “jihad cause” over recent months and even expressed interest in traveling to Syria to join the group. She would never make it to Syria and would instead work with the Paris attack coordinator, her cousin Abdelhamid Abaaoud, with efforts in her home country.
Once the woman began sympathizing with the Islamic State, it seems that the French authorities placed her on a watch list. However, they would not uncover the group of her ISIS confidants in time. The mastermind behind the Paris terror attacks would take up residence with Hassan after, and possibly before, the attacks. Though the woman was found in the flat in Saint-Denis along with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, where she subsequently detonated her suicide belt, it is currently unknown what involvement she had in the Paris attacks or if you she was just involved in the planned attack on the Charles de Gaulle airport and shopping center that police say was thwarted by the Saint-Denis raid.
A video of the exchange between French police and Hasna Ait Boulahcen has surfaced online and seems to provide more questions than answers.
In the video, Hasna can be heard in an exchange with French authorities just moments before her explosive belt was detonated. Police ask the woman, “Where is your boyfriend?” and she responded angrily, “He’s not my boyfriend!” Other reports indicate that after saying Abaaoud was not her boyfriend, she then yelled “Help me, help me!” before her explosive belt was detonated, killing her instantly.
Though the suicide bomber only recently converted fully to the Islamic State, she had previously shown support for the organization as she praised Hayat Boumeddiene, the widow of Amédy Coulibaly, the terrorist who took over a kosher supermarket in Paris last January during the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. It is unclear exactly what led to the woman’s support of the Islamic State, but it is clear that she had a relationship with the mastermind behind the Paris attacks.
[Image via Hasna Aitboulahcen/DH.BE]