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Hasna Ait Boulahcen: Family of woman wrongly accused of suicide bombing say she was 'murdered' during police raid

Police have confirmed the 26-year-old was not a suicide bomber but accuse her of helping hide her cousin Abdelhamid Abaaoud as he prepared more terror attacks

Lizzie Dearden
Thursday 21 January 2016 09:25 GMT
Hasna Aitboulahcen pictured on Facebook; she started to wear a hijab after the Charlie Hebdo massacre
Hasna Aitboulahcen pictured on Facebook; she started to wear a hijab after the Charlie Hebdo massacre (Facebook)

The family of the woman prosecutors wrongly accused of being a suicide bomber have filed a murder complaint after claiming she was a “victim of terrorism”.

Hasna Ait Boulahcen, the cousin of the Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, died during a police raid on a flat in Saint-Denis in November.

Woman overheard during Saint-Denis shootout

Officials initially said a female suicide bomber had blown herself up but two days later, police announced that a man had detonated the explosives vest.

Boulahcen, 26, is believed to have found and paid for the hideout where Abaaoud was allegedly planning further terror attacks on Charles de Gaulle airport and the Paris financial district.

Her intended role in that plot is unclear but her mother, sister and brother have now filed a legal complaint against persons unknown with a judge in Paris for "terrorism, murder and any other charges an investigation may uncover".

Fabien Ndoumou, a lawyer representing the family, told iTele Boulahcen was being controlled by Abaaoud through threats to her family and friends.

“Hasna was not an accomplice, she was not a terrorist and she was not a suicide bomber,” he said. “She is a victim of terrorism.”

In footage of the pre-dawn raid taken by local residents, Boulahcen could be heard screaming at armed police: “He’s not my boyfriend, he’s not my boyfriend…can I leave? I want to leave.”

Her family are also calling for authorities to release Boulahcen’s body, which is still being held by forensic investigators, police reported.

Friends believe Boulahcen became radicalised within the past year, having started wearing a veil after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and writing extremist posts on Facebook.

Isis identified nine Paris attackers using their war names in a tribute carried by its propaganda magazine Dabiq in January

In one, she expressed sympathy for Hayat Boumedienne, the wife of Isis gunman Amedy Coulibaly, and in another she declared her intention to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria.

Police now say that Boulahcen was killed when Chakib Akrouh detonated a suicide vest in the flat.

The 25-year-old Belgian-Moroccan man fought with Isis in Syria and was included in a tribute to the Paris attackers in the terrorist group’s propaganda magazine, which used his war name “Abu Mujahid al-Baljiki”.

Akrouh is thought to have been the third man involved in the bar and restaurant shootings in the French capital on 13 November, when 130 people were killed.

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