Hasna Ait Boulahcen’s body may have been “intact” when she was brought to hospital, despite claims she was “Europe’s first female suicide bomber”, French media reports.
According to Le Monde, Boulahcen’s "'intact’ body” was “brought to medical examiners”, following a police raid on an apartment in Saint-Denis.
The newspaper also suggests she was not wearing an explosive belt during the raid, as previously understood.
The claims substantiate those from French police sources who reportedly told Agence France-Presse news agency the suicide bomber who blew themselves up was a man, not a woman.
However, the claims differ from previous reports, which allege Boulahcen shouted, “Help me, help me, I am on fire” prior to an explosion, with her body parts later found strewn across the road outside the apartment.
It was through intercepting Boulahcen’s phone calls that security agencies were able to track her cousin Abdehamid Abaaoud, the suspected “mastermind” behind the Paris attacks, and six other terror suspects to the apartment.
During the police raid sporadic gunfire could be heard from within the flat following the explosion of a suicide bomb.
A video, recorded on a mobile phone and obtained by ABC News, shows a huge explosion with flames blasting out of the building's top fourth-storey window.
Officers eventually arrested three men from inside the building and another man and woman found outside.
Boulahcen, 26, reportedly had little interest in religion, had grown up liking Western music and was known to drink alcohol, smoke and go to parties.
It remains unclear at what point in her life she decided to follow extremist Islam, but it is believed she started to wear a hijab after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
An anonymous friend of Boulahcen told Le Monde: “We are still calling her the 'female suicide bomber'.
“She has become a myth, the whole world wants to know who she is, even we thought we knew."
Belgium's national Crisis Center raised the threat alert in the Brussels region to Level 4 on Saturday, which indicates a "serious and immediate threat."
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