Saint-Denis raid's female suicide bomber Hasna Aitboulahcen ‘outgoing woman who loved to drink’

Europe’s first known female suicide bomber, Hasna Aitboulahcen, was once known as an outgoing woman who loved to wear cowboy hats and drink alcohol.
Saint-Denis raid's female suicide bomber Hasna Aitboulahcen ‘outgoing woman who loved to drink’

The 26-year-old woman is the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged Islamic State (IS) mastermind behind the Paris attacks on November 13 that killed 129 people.

She screamed “help me” to police in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a bid to lure them closer to the building in which she hid Abaaoud.

The police tried to calmly speak to her, asking: “Where’s your boyfriend?”

“He’s not my boyfriend!” she screamed in reply. She then detonated her suicide vest.

Born in France in 1989, Aitboulahcen grew up in Paris and held French-Moroccan citizenship, contrary to her cousin Abaaoud, who was Belgian.

It was a bloody end to her life. The violent blast left her spine on a police car on the street outside.

Eight people were arrested following the raid which saw police fire about 5,000 rounds of ammunition as the terrorist cell barricaded themselves in the hideout.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a former acquaintance in the town of Creutzwald, near Metz, where she frequently visited her father, told the Républicain Lorrain newspaper: “She was an extravert, a bit lost.

"She didn’t really look like a suicide bomber and she drank alcohol.”

Another said: “We remember her well. She liked to go by the name of ‘the cowgirl’ because she wore a big hat”.

Belgian news website said her Facebook profile shows she had been radicalised in recent years.

On her page, the young woman allegedly posted messages glorifying Hayat Boumeddiene, the fugitive former wife of terrorist Amédy Coulibaly who killed four Jewish men in the Paris supermarket attack following the attack on Charlie Hebdo in January.

Boumeddiene became one of the world’s most-wanted women after an article published in the publication Dar al-Islam (The Lands of Islam) claimed she was in IS-held territory in Iraq or Syria.

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