Moroccan assailant, Oussama Z. (born January 12, 1981) was investigated for drugs in 2016, not for radicalism or terrorism, said the mayor of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Françoise Schepmans, on Wednesday. She did not have more details on the nature of the facts. The individual had been domiciled since 2013 at his last known address, located on boulevard Mettewie, added the mayor. Other previous information has not been found for the time being.
A search was initiated at the assailant’s home on Tuesday night. The mayor does not have any new information to communicate in this respect. “It’s not a neighborhood that usually causes trouble”, she says. “We had checked 20,000 people in Molenbeek on an administrative basis and no information about him had been brought to my attention.” Françoise Schepmans added that he was “divorced. I have no more information about the family”.
The mayor said on Wednesday that he had strengthened police presence in Molenbeek, with about thirty additional men, near public transport and especially metros. This measure could be extended in the coming days.
“The fight against radicalism remains the priority of Molenbeek”, says Françoise Schepmans. “He (the assailant) was not on the radar, but the police and the commune, as part of the integrated local security cell, are continuing their work. This attack only reinforces our determination to continue the fight against radicalism and terrorism. “The mayor welcomes the effectiveness of the intervention forces regarding the attack at the Brussels-Central station on Tuesday evening.