The mother and the brother of one of the suicide bombers involved in the Paris attacks on Friday spoke out on Monday, and said they didn’t think it was his intent to kill. On Friday night, 31-year-old Ibrahim Abdeslam detonated a bomb concealed in a suicide vest outside of the Comptoir Voltaire café, a short distance from the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were killed in part of a series of coordinated attacks that rocked France’s capital. The explosion caused by the bomb in Abdeslam’s suicide vest, according to several reports, killed no one other than himself and injured one other person. Abdeslam’s mother, speaking through a translator, pointed to that fact as an indication that his motive was not to kill innocent people, though other reports indicated that one civilian bystander was killed by Abdeslam’s bomb.
“This was not his plan, that’s for sure,” Abdeslam’s mother told reporters on Monday outside the family’s home in Molenbeek, Belgium. “The fact that his suicide belt exploded without killing anyone says a lot.” She went on to suggest that the suicide vest possibly detonated by accident. Another family member speculated that his involvement in the plot was due to stress.
“Maybe the explosives went off prematurely by accident. Maybe it was stress.”
Two siblings from the family were involved in the terror attacks, according to French authorities. Twenty-six-year-old Salah slipped through the grip of police and on Monday was the subject of an international manhunt, according to The Associated Press. A third sibling, Mohammed, was captured by Belgian authorities and then released after questioning. His lawyer said Mohammed hadn’t made the same choices as his siblings and hadn’t been “tempted into Jihadism.”
Family members said they were shocked to learn of Salah’s role in the attacks, but weren’t completely surprised that Ibrahim, who they admitted spent considerable time in Syria, was involved.
“We even saw him two days before the attacks. There were no signs that they has plans to do anything violent,” family members told reporters. “We were really surprised that Salah was involved. Ibrahim was different. We did see that he had been radicalized, at least in part. But not so much that we ever thought he would commit an atrocity like this.”