French police investigating the Paris attacks Thursday raided the home of the mother of a woman believed to have blown herself up during a massive police assault this week.
The siege on a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on Wednesday left two people dead, ISIS member Abdelhamid Abaaoud and a woman who detonated an explosive vest during the raid.
A source close to the probe said investigators believe the dead woman was a 26-year-old cousin of Abaaoud, the ringleader of the devastating attacks in the French capital on Friday night that left 129 people dead.
“It’s brainwashing,” the woman’s mother told AFP of her daughter’s radicalization in recent months.
Her brother, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the young woman – not being identified by AFP until the body is confirmed as being hers – had suddenly become radicalized about six months ago and began wearing a full-faced veil or niqab.
“She was unstable, she wasn’t looking to study religion, I have never seen her open a Koran,” he told AFP.
The source close to the investigation said a raid was under way at her mother’s house in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a town northeast of Paris.
“The whole neighborhood is completely cordoned off by police. They are letting no one enter or go out,” a resident of the town told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The woman lived at the home with her mother and other siblings until about three weeks ago.
“She decided to go and live with a friend in Drancy. On Wednesday I turned on my television and learned she killed herself,” said her brother.
Drancy is a town a short drive away from Aulnay-sous-Bois. It has cropped up in the investigation as the home of former bus driver Samy Amimour who blew himself up at a concert hall where he and two others killed 89 people.
Another source close to the investigation said police had also raided the home of the alleged suicide bomber’s father in the town of Creutzwald in northeastern France.
“The father has been away for several months” and his daughter left Creutzwald “years ago”, said the source.