A photo of Hasna Ait Boulahcen, the female suicide bomber who attacked French police during the raid on Saint-Denis, has been revealed by ISIS. This is the first time anyone has seen a photo of the cousin of reported Paris attack ringleader Abdelhami Abaaoud.
Hasna Ait Boulahcen, 26, is the Daesh (ISIS) bomber who blew herself up via suicide vest during the six hour-long standoff with French police on November 18 in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. This first photo of Hasna, according to French local sources, is a glimpse at the cousin to Abdelhami Abaaoud — and the culturally-considered obscene hand gesture she’s throwing up.
Hasna is one of the nine suspected terrorists living in the apartment surveilled by police in the days after the Paris attacks on November 13. Newspapers in France and Belgium, as well as the respected German newspaper Bild, have stated that the photo is in fact the woman who blew up her suicide vest during the standoff with a reported 110 police officers as they attempted to stop her, Abdelhami and seven other suspects from attempting to attack Charles de Gaulle airport and a shopping mall in another Parisian district.
The photo has a clear message from her hand signals. To the untrained eye, it looks like she’s throwing up double peace signs, but when the palms are turned inward, it’s a gross insult. In many cultures, it’s comparable to giving the middle finger. Witnesses stated that they could hear Hasna screaming “Help me, help me” before she detonated her bomb. Her head and spine flew through a window and landed on the street below. This is the first case of a female suicide bomber in Europe.
Hasna’s neighbors were shocked that the “bubbly and outgoing” girl could be the suicide bomber, according to Daily Mail. She was seemingly normal, a tomboy, and affectionately nicknamed “The Cowgirl” for always wearing cowboy hats. “I can’t believe she’s part of [ISIS],” said neighbor Hassane. “When I heard it I felt sick. She was like all young girls – it was who she was hanging out with.We have been tainted by these people that know nothing about Islam.”
Hasna studied at Paul Verlaine University in Metz, and was the director of Beko Construction, in Epinay sur Seine — just three miles from the apartment where she detonated the bomb. She reportedly made repeated threats to the French government, promising to wage jihad, according to Le Republican Lorrain.
Our thoughts are with the citizens of France at this time.
— Samantha Wilson