Posing with two fingers up to the camera, this is Europe’s first female suicide bomber whose head flew through a window and landed on the street when she blew herself up during the Saint-Denis siege.
Hasna Ait Boulahcen screamed, ‘help me, help me!’, before detonating her suicide vest packed full of explosives as French anti-terror police moved in on the terrorists’ hiding place.
Her head and spine flew through a window before a ferocious gun battle in Saint Denis where the mastermind of the Paris bombings, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed.
Witnesses said she went to a nearby KFC restaurant to buy some food and looked ‘relaxed’ just hours before the blast.
Now MailOnline can reveal Ait Boulahcen, 26, Abaaoud’s cousin, was an ‘extrovert’ who drank alcohol and was nicknamed ‘the cowgirl’ due to her love of wearing big cowboy hats.
Neighbours at the building where the family of Ait Boulahcen live in a run-down suburb of Paris said the female suicide bomber had been there three weeks ago.
They said she had a bubbly personality, adding that she was ‘outgoing, a bit clueless’. They were shocked to see her face appear on the news.
One neighbour, Hassane, described her as a ‘Tom boy’ and said she always dressed in jeans, trainers and a black cap until around eight months ago when she started wearing a niqab.
He said: ‘She wasn’t scared of anyone. She was like a little soldier. She was very lively, very dynamic.
He said: ‘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.’
The retired 62-year-old said that Hasna was always very helpful and had once carried his heavy shopping for him.
He said Hasna’s mother had been comforted by the caretaker in the building and had spent last night crying.
He added: ‘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.
‘We have been tainted by these people that know nothing about Islam.’
Another said: ‘She did not look like a suicide bomber and she drank alcohol.’
Moroccan-born Ait Boulahcen’s family arrived in France in 1973 and settled in Paris, where she was born in 1989 in Clichy-la-Garenne, a suburb close to Wednesday’s gun siege.
She had been brought up in foster families and her parents had separated when she was young, they said.
Hasna’s mother, whose first name is not known, lives in a tower block in Aulnay Sous Bois, a suburb 20 minutes outside of Paris.
It is understood that although Hasna visited often, she did not live there permanently.
Friends said she remained ‘close’ to her father and would regularly visit his home in Creutzwald, Moselle.
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