Mourad Laachraoui is a student at Haute Ècole, the College for Business and Technology, in Brussels, Belgium. He is also the European taekwondo champion, and will compete as part of the Belgian national team at the Olympics in Rio next month. Laachraoui is used to press conferences and to addressing the public, but the Brussels airport bombing on March 22 was more than he could quickly digest and comment upon.
Mourad had been hoping to go to practice later that day, but at around midday that the next breaking news flashed onto his screen. One of the four bombers had been identified, it said. The man was 24 years old. Then Mourad read the name: Najim Laachraoui.
At that moment, there was a further explosion -- inside Mourad's head.
At first he didn't say anything to the other students. But they too had already read the alert. "Hey, Mourad," one of the students in the lab shouted. "He has your name -- is it a cousin perhaps?" It was intended as a joke.
Najim Laachraoui, the suicide bomber, was Mourad Laachraoui’s older brother. Najim left for Syria years ago, and Mourad had no idea he was back in Belgium until the bombing occurred. Read about the two brothers and how Mourad is dealing with the aftermath of the attack while he prepares for his Olympic competition, at Spiegel. -via Metafilter