On the night of Nov. 18, 2015, Abdelhamid Abaaoud blew himself up in an apartment outside Paris.

French police investigate the aftermath of the explosion that killed Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images.


The man — who just days before had helped mastermind the deadly shootings that killed 130 in Paris, and was reportedly planning more attacks — died by his own hand as police surrounded his hideout.

Damage caused by the shootout and explosion. Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images.

For months, a big piece of the story was missing: Who told the cops where to find Abaaoud?

Cops participate in the raid on Abaaoud's hideout. Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard/Getty Images.

It turns out, they were tipped off by a woman who, according to a Washington Post report, only came forward to the press in order to send a message about her faith.

Men in Barcelona express solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks. Photo by Lluis Gene/Getty Images.

"It’s important the world knows that I am Muslim myself," the woman who tipped off the police told the Post.

Muslim women participate in a moment of silence for the victims of the Paris attacks. Photo by Jean-Sebastien Evrard/Getty Images.

"It’s important to me that people know what Abaaoud and the others did is not what Islam is teaching," she said.

The woman took an enormous risk by talking to the police and the press.

Police remove a body from Abaaoud's hideout. Photo by Eric Feferberg/Getty Images.

The woman, who asked police and the Post to withhold her identity for her safety, was led to Abaaoud by Hasna Ait Boulahcen, a woman she considered her surrogate daughter.

Ait Boulahcen had held a romantic attachment to Abaaoud — her cousin — for several years, according to the woman, and she brought the woman along to a meeting with the militant, who instructed her to help him find a place to hide.

After the meeting, Abaaoud and his associates threatened to kill the unidentified woman and her husband if they talked. She still fears retaliation, even months after his death.

Coming forward also cost her. Dearly.

Ait Boulahcen, who the woman repeatedly attempted to dissuade from associating with Abaaoud, was in the apartment with him when it was raided and was killed in the explosion.

After nearly every act of terrorist violence, one question always seems to come up: "Where are all the Muslims speaking out against these attacks?"

A young Muslim woman pays tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks. Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images.

It's a loaded question — one that asks all of the millions of Muslims around the world to prove, instead of simply presuming, their innocence.

It's a question that implies they're not doing enough to prevent terrorism.

It's a question that places an unfair burden on millions of people to answer for the actions of a small extremist minority and just a short step away from asking, "Who's side are Muslims really on?"

Now, at least as far as the attacks in Paris are concerned, we have an answer.

Where are all the Muslims?

Some are busy risking their lives — and the lives of those they care about — to help prevent more attacks from happening.

Photo by Lluis Gene/Getty Images.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

woman laying on bed

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Inattentive Type about three years ago—I was a fully functioning adult, married with children before finding out that my brain worked a bit differently. Of course I've known that I functioned a bit differently than my friends since childhood. The signs were there early on, but in the '80s diagnosing a girl with ADHD just wasn’t a thing that happened.

Much of the early criteria for ADHD was written based on how it presented in males, more specifically, white male children, and I was neither. Women like me are being diagnosed more and more lately and it’s likely because social media has connected us in a way that was lacking pre- doom scrolling days.

With the help of social media, women can connect with others who share the same symptoms that were once a source of shame. They can learn what testing to ask for and how to advocate for themselves while having an army of supporters that you’ve never met to encourage you along the way. A lot of women that are diagnosed later in life don’t want medication, they just want an answer. Finally having an answer is what nearly brought me to tears. I wasn’t lazy and forgetful because I didn’t care. I had a neurological disorder that severely impacted my ability to pay attention to detail and organize tasks from most important to least. Just having the answer was a game changer, but hearing that untreated ADHD can cause unchecked anxiety, which I had in spades, I decided to listen to my doctor and give medication a try.

Keep Reading Show less

TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

Keep Reading Show less