Sport Other Sports Suicide bomber’s brother qualifies for Olympics

Suicide bomber’s brother qualifies for Olympics

Mourad Laachraoui
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Mourad Laachraoui, the brother of one of the Brussels suicide bombers, has won gold at the European Taekwondo Championships and is set to compete for Belgium at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Older brother Najim, 24, was one of two suicide bombers who blew themselves up on March 22 at Brussels Airport.

Hayne: playing Sevens for Fiji a dream come true
NRL round 11: Warriors humbled, Sharks top ladder
AFL round 9: Collingwood blitzes Geelong

The attacks, including another suicide bombing on the city’s metro, killed 32 people.
Mourad, 21, is listed among Belgium’s 185-strong squad bound for the Games starting on August 5, where he will compete in the under-58kg category.

Laachraoui’s older brother Najim was one of the suicide bombers in the Brussels terror attacks on 22 March 2016. Photo: AAP

On Friday, Mourad won gold in the under-54kg in Montreux, Switzerland, the Flemish taekwondo federation dubbing him “Europe’s king of the lightweights” in a tweet.

In a news conference two days after the attacks, Mourad said his brother was a nice, intelligent boy and had given no signs of being radicalised before he left for Syria in 2013 and broke all contact with his family.

A veteran Islamist fighter in Syria, electro mechanics-trained Najim is also suspected of making explosive belts for last November’s Paris attacks, which killed 130 people.

“It’s crazy, really — the same parents, the same upbringing, and one turns out really well and the other really bad,” his lawyer Philippe Culot said in March.

“You don’t choose your family,” Mourad remarked.

View Comments