Europe: Belgian woman suicide bomber

The Guardian
Police in Belgium and France launched a series of raids yesterday against a suspected terrorist network after a Belgian-born convert to Islam blew herself up in Baghdad, becoming Europe's first woman suicide bomber.
More than 200 officers arrested 15 suspects in four cities three weeks after the 38-year-old woman, who converted to Islam after marrying a Moroccan Islamist radical, earned her grisly place in history.
According to De Standaard, Belgium's main Flemish newspaper, the woman attempted to target a US military convoy south of Baghdad on November 9. A US official told the paper that she was the only person who died, but other media reports spoke of five or six deaths.

One Belgian official gave the woman's first name as Murielle and said she lived in Brussels and that her parents were from a middle-class district of Charleroi. A Belgian passport was found on her body with papers showing that she had entered Iraq via Turkey. She had apparently entered the country by car with her husband. He died in Iraq in a separate incident.

After the woman's nationality was confirmed by Belgium's security service, the Sûreté de l'Etat, police in Paris arrested a 27-year-old Tunisian man who is believed to have known the woman's husband. The man, who moved to France several months ago, was arrested in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis.

By Nicholas Watt and originally published on 1 December 2005