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Posted: May 22, 2016

Brother of Brussels bomber to compete in Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 04: The official logo for the Rio 2016 Olympics games displays during a press conference of Two Years to Go to the Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony on August 4, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 04: The official logo for the Rio 2016 Olympics games displays during a press conference of Two Years to Go to the Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony on August 4, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

By Ben Lawson

The brother of one of the suicide bombers in the Brussels terror attacks will compete in taekwondo at the 2016 Olympics.

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Mourad Laachraoui won the European Taekwondo Championships on Thursday, which means he's headed to Rio de Janeiro this summer to compete for Belgium.

He beat 18-year-old Jesus Tortosa in a 6-3 match to claim the title in Montreux, Switzerland.

Shortly after it was revealed Mourad Laachraoui's brother, Najim Laachraoui, was involved in the attacks, the 21-year-old condemned his actions, saying he was "ashamed and sad" about what his brother had done.

"Our family has the same questions you all have," he said. "He used to be a nice, intelligent guy. I couldn't believe it."

Najim Laachraoui was one of two men who carried out the bombings at Brussels airport on March 22. Thirty-two people were killed in the attacks.

Najim Laachraoui has also been connected to the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, where over 130 people were killed.

Prosecutors say his DNA was found on a suicide vest and a piece of cloth at the Bataclan Concert Hall -- the site were terrorists shot and killed 90 concertgoers. Belgian officials have said he was an expert bombmaker.

Mourad Laachraoui says his family hadn't had contact with Najim since he left for Syria in 2013.

Mourad Laachraoui told reporters he attempted to contact his brother once over Facebook to try to convince him to return home to their family, but he wasn't able to reach him.


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