The woman widely believed to have blown herself up in a suicide bombing during a police raid on an apartment in Paris on 18 November did not detonate her explosives vest.
Hasna Aitboulahcen – who is thought to be the cousin of the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud – was in fact standing next to a man who detonated the explosives, a police source told AFP. Aitboulahcen was previously thought to have become Europe's first female suicide bomber when police targeted Abaaoud during a swoop on a flat in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis.
"The initial findings from the special police indicated that it [the suicide belt wearer] was her," a source close to the investigation told Reuters. "But the skull we found on the pavement was not hers."
According to the Telegraph, Aitboulahcen wanted to become a soldier but after being rejected she became homeless. A man from the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois named as Karim said: "For a while, she wanted to become a soldier and serve France. But she couldn't join up and she became homeless. Then she fell in with a new crowd and her new cause became Syria."
A third body, which is still being identified, was recovered from the flat following the raid. Abaaoud's death has also been confirmed.