Source: Newspaper De Standaard, Belgium, Sunday 27 December 2015

Brussels — The mother of Bilal Hadfi, one of the suicide bombers to blow himself up in Paris last November, phoned in to Belgian-Moroccan TV station Maghreb TV to talk about her son’s radicalisation. “We could not have foreseen it,” she said. “He lived life the same as everyone else.”
Fatima Hadfi made the unexpected phone call to Maghreb TV on Saturday. Presenter Mohamed Tijjini appeared surprised when told who was on the line to him.

In an on-air conversation that lasted about half an hour Fatima Hadfi explained what she believed drove her son to terrorism. Security services had already been searching for Brussels man Bilal Hadfi for months when, on November 13, he blew himself up outside the Stade de France in Paris. In February he had left for Syria.

Bilal Hadfi’s family have had difficulties trying to claim his remains. “His body is as yet in Paris. We have done everything necessary, but nothing is happening,” his mother said.

Fatima Hadfi believes her son was pushed to the brink by society. “He got caught in a downward spiral,” she said. “We could not have foreseen it. He lived life the same as everyone else. He went to school. He was harassed by a teacher for two years. … He was a good guy. Friendly and helpful. Nevertheless he was destabilised.”

She explained how Bilal felt excluded from society, which drove him into the arms of radicalised muslims. “He didn’t radicalise on his own volition; he was manipulated and indoctrinated by others.”

Bilal Hadfi was a French national, but his family has lived in social housing in Brussels for many years. The attacks in Paris killed 130 people.

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