Brussels Station Bomber Linked to Molenbeek

Brussels Station Bomber Linked to Molenbeek
Brussels Station Bomber Linked to Molenbeek

Belgian security forces on Wednesday identified the man who set off an explosion at one of Brussels’ busiest rail stations before soldiers shot him dead, in the latest attack to hit Europe.

Premier Charles Michel said a “terrorist attack has been prevented” and that extra security measures would be put in place after the foiled attack on Tuesday, AFP reported.

The incident on Tuesday evening at Brussels Central Station could have been much worse because the “big explosion did not happen”, Interior Minister Jan Jambon said, adding that more details about the device would be released shortly.

“The terrorist’s identity is known. We have been able to identify him,” Jambon told RTBF radio and television, without giving his name. Belgian media said the assailant was a 37-year-old man from the largely immigrant Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek, home to militants linked to previous attacks, and that police were carrying out raids there.

Witnesses said the suspect triggered a small but intense fireball in the station’s underground hall.

Soldiers at the station then gunned him down.

Crying rail passengers fled the station after the explosion, with memories still fresh of last year’s metro and airport suicide bombings in the city that hosts the EU and NATO headquarters.

There were no other casualties apart from the suspect who was confirmed dead by prosecutors hours after the attack.

Jambon indicated that police had carried out searches once the attacker’s identity was known. Belgian media said a bomb disposal squad van was present at the site of one of the raids.

“Belgium would keep its terror alert level at three on a scale of four,” Michel said after chairing a meeting with his national security council.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints