The man who killed two Swedish football fans on Monday was reportedly injured in a shootout with officers
Brussels police have detained a suspect believed to have killed two Swedish football fans in an Islamic extremist attack, Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden has announced.
The man was cornered at a cafe in the Schaerbeek commune to the northeast of the Belgian capital, resulting in a shootout, news website Sudinfo reported on Tuesday morning. Brussels Mayor Philippe Close confirmed the development to BFMTV.
The suspect was apprehended alive and rushed to hospital, and reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest in the ambulance before being resuscitated.
The terrorist attack occurred on Monday evening, when a gunman opened fire on people attending a Euro 2024 qualifying match in Brussels, resulting in the game being called off at half-time.
Verlinden told the VRT broadcaster that the firearm found on the “neutralized person” matched the weapon used for the killings. Sudinfo said investigators were conducting a blood test to confirm the man’s identity.
After the initial shooting, the assailant injured a third person elsewhere in Brussels, according to Belgian media. Videos published online have shown a man wearing an orange jacket and riding a scooter, armed with an assault rifle.
In a video that the killer apparently recorded and posted online, he identified himself as Abdesalem Al Guilani, a supporter of the terrorist group Islamic State, (IS, formerly ISIS). He claimed that was avenging crimes against Muslims.
Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said the suspect was a 45-year-old Tunisian man who sought asylum in Belgium in November 2019. He was accused of people-smuggling and residing in the country illegally, the minister told a news conference on Monday.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has expressed his condolences to the Swedish people over the deaths of two of its nationals, and said the terrorist attack was fuelled by “blind hatred”.
October 17, 2023 at 12:48PM