Brahim and Sala Abdeslam were just two brothers boozing it up and cavorting with girls in a Brussels nightclub – nine months before they took part in the Paris terror attacks.
Video obtained by CNN shows a seemingly carefree Brahim, puffing on a cigarette and dancing with a blonde to rapper Lacrim, while his younger sibling gyrates nearby on Feb. 8, 2015.
Just months later, Brahim blew himself up in a Paris café during the ISIS terror attack that killed 130 people and injured hundreds of others. Salah, the only surviving jihadist from the attacks, was captured March 18 in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, the Belgian capital rocked by its own terror attack that claimed 35 lives just days later.
Two friends who shot the video shared their stories with CNN under the false names of Karim and Rachid.
“They were nice people,” Rachid said. “I suppose you could say they lived life to the full.”
“I saw Salah joke, smoke, drink and play cards,” Karim said. “If anything, he liked women. He was something of a ladies’ man and I heard he had a girlfriend at one point.”
The brothers began behaving differently after their night of revelry, Rachid said.
“That was the last time I saw them drink,” he said. “Brahim started to become more religious. He would attend Friday prayers at the mosque but otherwise pray at home.”
The pals said they had no idea that the brothers had embarked on their path to radicalism.
“They must have been changing bit by bit,” Rachid said.
“The only way I could do what they did was if I was completely drugged or drunk … not in control of my senses,” Karim said.