The mother of Paris suicide bomber Ibrahim Abdeslam - whose two brothers are also suspects - has said her son "did not mean to kill anyone" and believes he blew himself up because of "stress".
Ibrahim Abdeslam, 31, detonated his suicide vest outside the Comptoir Voltaire cafe on Friday night, but did not kill anyone other than himself. His brother Mohamed was arrested in Brussels on Saturday and a third sibling, Salah, is Europe's most wanted man after becoming the subject of an international arrest warrant. The Abdeslam family said they were "surprised" that Ibrahim blew himself up, even though he had spent time in Syria.
Their mother, speaking to a reporter through her nephew - the bombers' cousin - outside the family home in Molenbeek, Brussels, told the Belgian website Het Laatste Nieuws that she was sure he had not planned to kill anyone. Another family member said he would not have wanted to become a suicide bomber. "Maybe the explosives went off prematurely by accident. Maybe it was stress. "We even saw him two days before the attacks. There were no signs that they had plans to do anything violent . The fact that his bomb belt exploded without killing anyone else says a lot."
The family admitted he had spent "a long time" in Syria. "We were really surprised that Salah was involved. Ibrahim was different. We did see that he had been radicalised, at least in part. But not so much that we ever thought he would commit an atrocity like this".
Ibrahim, who seriously injured a bystander when he detonated his suicide bomb, rented a Seat Leon used in the attacks. The car was used by the terrorists who murdered diners outside the Casa Nostra pizza restaurant and the La Belle Équipe cafe. It was later found abandoned with a cache of weapons inside.
Meanwhile the French newspaper Le Parisien reports that police closed a bar where Ibrahim Abdeslam worked because neighbours had complained about a strong cannabis odour. Earlier this month the bar was shut for what police said would be a five-month period.
Source: The Telegraph