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Sister of Paris' Female Terrorist: 'She Was Sad'

Relatives describe a party girl turned troubled woman
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2015 7:41 AM CST
Sister of Paris' Female Terrorist: 'She Was Sad'
This is an undated handout photo issued by ITV News showing a bullet-hole-ridden wall inside the apartment in Saint-Denis raided by police following the attacks in Paris.   (ITV News via AP)

(Newser) – The sister of the woman killed during a raid on an apartment outside Paris last week says Hasna Aitboulahcen wasn't a die-hard terrorist but was "manipulated by her cousin," alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Speaking with NBC News, 25-year-old Myriam Aitboulahcen—who last spoke with her sister at the beginning of November—says police "gave me no information" on Hasna's alleged role in the terror attacks, but she adds Hasna, 26, "did not grow up in a stable home. She was not happy in her life. She was sad." Hasna was raised largely in foster care, AFP reports, and friends say the Moroccan immigrant's daughter was a party girl who drank and used drugs. "She was unstable, she created her own bubble," her brother says. "She wasn't looking to study religion, I have never even seen her open a Koran."

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Then, about six months ago, she became radicalized, he says. "She started by wearing a jilbab (which covers the whole body except the face) and then she moved on to the niqab (full-face veil)," he told AFP. "She spent all her time on her smartphone, on Facebook and WhatsApp." On social media in June, Hasna posted a photo of herself in full Muslim garb. "Soon I will go to Syria, God willing," she wrote, per the New York Times. She never made the trip. Initially identified as Western Europe's first female suicide bomber after the raid in Saint-Denis, authorities now say Hasna was killed when a man detonated an explosive vest nearby. Authorities say she first yelled, "Help me!" in a failed attempt to trap officers, then opened fire with a Kalashnikov. (Read more Paris terror attacks stories.)

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