Correction: This article originally stated that Hasna Ait Boulahcen detonated an explosives vest and died. It has since been confirmed that Boulahcen did not die in a suicide bombing, a police source said Friday. The suicide bomber was a man (Source: AFP).
Our headline has been changed to reflect this. Read the copy below in light of the new information.
It has been reported that during an all-out police raid in the Saint-Denis area of Paris early Wednesday a woman, believed to be the relative of now deceased terror architect Abdelhamid Abaaoud, detonated a suicide belt.
Shocking audio is now available, capturing the moments before a blonde-haired woman, believed to be 26-year-old Hasna Aitboulahcen, pictured below, blew herself up.
“Where is your boyfriend?” police yell. “He’s not my boyfriend,” she yelled back.
Then gunfire can be heard.
As police moved in, the woman blew herself up. She reportedly screamed “help me, help me.”
Jean-Michel Fauvergue, who led the raid unit, gave a vivid description of that moment.
“After a long firefight, we heard a loud explosion,” he said, according to The Mirror. “The windows of an apartment were shattered, blown from inside to outside. That’s when we saw a human body, a woman’s head, fly through the window and land on the pavement, on the other side of the street.”
“A suicide bomber had just exploded. The blast was so devastating that a supporting wall moved,” he said.
According to Le Parisien, police “asked her to identify herself, and to show herself. She held her hands up but she didn’t reveal her face.”
“Keep your hands in the air!” police shouted. “We’re going to shoot.”
Then there was an explosion.
Neighbors living in the building described the woman as “outgoing,” “a bit clueless,” and revealed she had the nickname “the cowgirl” because she liked wearing cowboy hats.
“She wasn’t scared of anyone. She was like a little soldier. She was very lively, very dynamic,” one told the Daily Mail. “She didn’t have a niqab [headscarf] before. She was always in jeans and trainers. She was a very well-spoken girl. She was very respectful.”
“I can’t believe she’s part of this sect. When I heard it I felt sick. She was like all young girls – it was who she was hanging out with,” he added.