The man who used a knife to attack three soldiers on patrol in the centre of Brussels on Friday had a fake gun and two Korans, the Prosecutor’s office revealed on Saturday morning. The suspect’s house in Bruges was searched that night.
An individual attacked three patrolling soldiers on the Boulevard Emile Jacqmain at around 8.22pm. He came at them from behind and attacked them with a knife. One of the soldiers opened fire while the attacker cried “Allahou akbar”.
“The man was shot twice and later died in hospital from his injuries. He was in possession of a fake handgun and two Korans. Two soldiers received minor injuries”, the Federal Prosecutor’s office said in a press release.
The attacker is of Belgian nationality, but originally from Somalia. He arrived in Belgium in 2004 and was given Belgian nationality in 2015. He was not a known terrorist but had been convicted of assault in February 2017, the Prosecutor’s office revealed.
The Prosecutor’s office assigned an instruction judge from Brussels, a specialist in terrorism, to the case and asked them to look at it as an attempted terrorist attack.