The Police “neutralized” this morning with a shot to the chest perpetrator of the attack in which two citizens were murdered yesterday afternoon in the center of Brussels, before his team’s match. Shortly after 8:00 in the morning, twelve hours after the attack, a witness identified the perpetrator in a cafeteria from the images that had circulated on social networks and called the agents.
Officers arrived immediately and a shootout ensued. The terrorist was killed and taken to the hospital, where he died at 9:38 a.m., according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office. Next to his body they found the gun he had used and a sports bag with clothes.
The Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden, explained that the operation took place in the commune of Schaerbeek, the same one he lived in Abdesalem L, the 45-year-old man who was identified last night as the main suspect in the attackafter posting several videos on Facebook claiming the action and affirming his loyalty to the Islamic State.
At dawn, the Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne, in an appearance with the Prime Minister, confirmed that Abdesalem L, was booked by the security services, had been considered a radical for almost a decade and had a criminal record.
“The suspect requested asylum in our country in 2019. Had been investigated for human trafficking, illegal residence and endangering state security. In 2016, unconfirmed information transmitted by a foreign police service indicated that the man had a radicalized profile and wanted to leave for a conflict zone for jihad. The information was verified but nothing could be done with it. There were no concrete signs of radicalization,” said the minister. That was the most sensitive time in the country’s recent history, after the two terrorist attacks in Paris and the one in March 2016 at the airport and a metro station in the capital. with dozens of deaths.