We now know the identity of the man who attacked three soldiers with a knife on Boulevard Emile Jacqmain in Brussels on Friday. This was announced by Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon on Radio 1 on Saturday morning. He is a Somalian with Belgian nationality. He has committed “acts of vandalism” in the past but is not known for terrorism, extremism or radicalisation.
The suspect attacked three soldiers with a knife on Friday, the minister said. He was then shot and later died from his injuries.
Jan Jambon said the soldiers acted in legitimate self-defence. “The soldiers did what they had to do. It’s a soldier and policeman’s job to protect citizens and institutions. They reacted perfectly”.
The Brussels Prosecutor’s office, which is investigating the “shooting incident”, also spoke of legitimate self-defence. The Prosecutor’s office said the soldier “shot according to the rules and in legitimate self-defence” on Friday.
The investigation into the knife attack is being handled by the Federal Prosecutor’s office. “The theory is that it is a terrorist attack”, said Mr Jambon. He added the attacker cried “Allahou akbar”.
The Minister did not say how much longer soldiers would be patrolling the streets, but said he was grateful for the work they do while the threat level remained at three in Belgium.