Saint-Denis Paris attacks raid: Recording captures female suicide bomber's exchange with police

French media identified the woman as the cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud but the reports have not been confirmed

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 18 November 2015 19:04
Female suicide bomber overheard during Saint-Denis shootout

The moments before a female suicide bomber blew herself up as police raided a flat in Saint-Denis today have been recorded by a terrified resident.

French media named the woman as Hasna Aitboulahcen, the 26-year-old cousin of the suspected “mastermind” behind the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

He was the target of today’s operation in Saint-Denis, when Aitboulahcen died and at least one other extremist was shot dead as armed officers tried to enter a suspected hideout.

A man is arrested by police officers at the site were a raid happened in the city center of Saint Denis, near Paris, France

A resident’s video, given to TFI televison, did not show the exchange but clearly caught the sound carrying through the darkness at around 4.30am.

“Where is your boyfriend, where is he?” a police officer can be heard shouting.

A female voice, thought to be Aitboulahcen, replies: “He's not my boyfriend.”

She repeats the denial a second time a second before a loud explosion is heard, believed to be her detonating her explosive vest.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud boasted of his escape from authorities in Belgium following a failed terrorist attack in an interview published in Isis' propaganda magazine in February

Loud and sustained gunfire then breaks out, reportedly between police and militants inside the property.

A statement from the public prosecutor’s office said a woman blew herself up shortly after the start of the operation at 4.20am local time.

Three men were arrested from inside the property and a man and a woman allegedly “hiding nearby” were also detained, alongside the man who rented the flat and an acquaintance.

Officials reportedly told Reuters and France’s RTL radio stations that the suspected terror cell was preparing to launch new attacks on Paris’ La Defense business district as early as Thursday.

Francois Molins said information from tapped telephone conversations, surveillance and witness accounts led police to raid the apartment in their hunt for Abaaoud.

He did not confirm the Isis militant’s fate but unconfirmed reports in France claimed remains of a third body may have been discovered inside the building following the raid.

Abaaoud was already wanted by French and Belgian authorities for planning a string of failed terror attacks on a train, church and to behead police in Belgium.

Seven of the attackers who killed 129 people in Paris died on Friday night but a suspected eighth gunman, Salah Abdeslam, is still on the loose and French authorities said a ninth unidentified suspect could be at large last night.

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