One of the suicide bombers at the Stade de France on Friday, November 13, 2015, was Bilal Hadfi, 20, a Belgian thought to have fought with IS in Syria.

In the live reporting The Telegraph ran on the Saint-Denis raids they had a précis of an interview Hadfi’s mother gave to the Belgian newspaper La Libre on November 3.

Fatima told the paper that her son smoked hash and drank regularly. He was also given to confrontational behaviour at home.

Sometime around the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January 2015, Hadfi renounced his drinking and smoking. Fatima remembers feeling hopeful:

I thought it positive that he repents and is no longer into alcohol and joints.

Earlier this year, he was taking courses in electrical technology at the Instituut Anneessens Funck. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, one of his instructors, Sara Stacino, discussed the incidents of that week with her students. (All French and many Belgian teachers were told to do so.)

La Libre reports that Stacino told another media outlet that she clearly remembers Hadfi’s pronouncements during the discussion, which he monopolised. She found them so alarming that she wrote a written report for the school administration:

He defended the attacks, saying it was normal, the need for freedom of expression must be stopped, that insults to religion must stop. At the time it really worried me and I reported it in writing to the management of the school.

Mr Hadfi died eight years ago. Perhaps his absence acted as a catalyst for his youngest son’s behaviour. We do not know.

In any event, in February 2015, Bilal Hadfi told his mother that he was going to Morocco to visit his father’s grave. In reality, he had made arrangements to travel to Syria. The night before he left, Fatima recalled that he hardly seemed himself, physically or emotionally. She began to worry.

Once in Syria, Hadfi rang his mother and tried to persuade her to join him in the creation of a new Islamic State. She refused. He then spoke with his brother, who was angry with him. Fatima said Hadfi told his brother:

Do not shout, it’s my decision. In this country, I do not have my place.

Fatima had the impression that someone was standing next to Bilal during these conversations.

She did not report him to the police in case that would jeopardise his return from Syria.

Regardless, in March, anti-terror police raided the Hadfi home. They placed Bilal on a watch list.

Fatima claims Bilal dropped off the radar three months before the Paris attacks and that she had not heard from him. Yet, she feared receiving a text message about her son.

Now he has died for his cause.

I read the rest of the article at La Libre. In one of his phone conversations from Syria, Bilal told Fatima:

I fear you will die and go to hell because you live in a kuffar country.

Fatima has a daughter and two other sons. When their home was raided on March 8, the Belgian police broke down the door. The eldest son was handcuffed. Officers forced Fatima to the floor in an attempt to calm her down. Police took away several self-defence objects, including ninja stars and an aikido baton. The anti-terrorist brigade searched the home at 4:30 in the morning. Belgium’s federal police have also searched the home. It is unclear when the latter raids took place.

Although the Hadfis hold French nationality, they have lived in Belgium for many years. They lived in council housing in Brussels and in March moved to another flat in the city.

Fatima told La Libre she is not interested in giving further interviews.

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