Brother of Brussels suicide bomber set for Rio Olympics


A brother to one of the Brussels suicide bombers has qualified for the Rio Olympics after winning gold at the European Taekwondo Champiobships.

Mourad Laachraoui is listed as among Belgium’s 185-strong squad for the Summer Games starting on August 5, where he will compete in the Under-58 kilogram category.

Mourad’s older brother Najim was one of two suicide bombers who blew themselves up in on March 22, killing 32 people.

The Belgian won gold at 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 radicalized before he left for Syria in 2013 and broke all contact with his family.

“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.