Mourad Laachraoui

Brussels terrorist's brother visited Israel

Mourad Laachraoui won the gold medal at the Israel Taekwondo Open Championships held in Ramle in September 2015; Muorad held special press conference to condemn his brother's act.

Mourad Laachraoui, a brother of Brussels terrorist Najim Laachraoui, was in Israel last September when he won the Israel Taekwondo Open Championships held at Ramle.



He spent six days at an Israeli hotel, from September 3-8.


The terrorist Najim Laachraoui is Mourad's older brother - in a Moroccan family of six brothers.


Mourad Laachraoui with gold medal at Israel's taekwondo championship in September 2015
Mourad Laachraoui with gold medal at Israel's taekwondo championship in September 2015


Laachraoui's father confirmed that Najim is one of the terrorists who managed to escape the police, but noted, "We have not heard from him in three years." The father claimed that the family is ashamed of his son's act and expressed hope that this will not harm the career of his older brother.


Mourad, 21, won a silver medal last year in the under 54 kg Taekwondo catergory in the Summer Universiade held in South Korea. He also competed in the international championship held last September in Israel and won a gold medal in the under 58 kg catergory, beating Israeli Gili Haimovich.  


'I was shocked, I couldn't believe my brother did it'

Mourad held a press conference on Wednesday evening, condemned his brother's actions and said that he had no contact with him since he left for Syria.


"I was shocked and could not believe my brother did it, but one doesn’t choose one's family," he said.


Najim, his brother said, was "a nice kid and very intelligent. He loved playing soccer and reading."


Mourad added that his brother left the family home in early 2013 and that the police contacted them after the Paris attacks of November 2015. "A search was conducted at our home in November, and they told us he may be connected to the attacks."


Mourad Laachraoui with his gold medal
Mourad Laachraoui with his gold medal


Mourad swore that he and his family members were not in contact with Najim since the latter left: "We try not to ask too many questions about his radicalization but rather turn over a new leaf."


"Mourad Laachraoui strongly condemns the actions of his elder brother, who was involved in the attacks in Belgium and France," the Belgian Taekwondo Association posted on its website, before Mourad's press conference.


Veronica Pellegrini, principal of the school where Najim studied, said he was an excellent student. "Najim never missed a class," she said, adding that "we have not heard from him since he graduated in 2009".


Najim, who later became ISIS's explosives engineer in Europe, studied electromechanics at the Catholic school in the Brussels neighborhood of Schaerbeek.


Tomer Ganor, Yaron Druckman, Saar Haas and Itay Blumenthal contributed to this report.





פרסום ראשון: 03.25.16, 14:26
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