This Tuesday, October 17, the Belgian Police questioned Abdesalem Lassoued, the main suspect in the attack in Brussels. In the midst of the action, Lassoued was shot by police in a cafe and died. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson urged the European Union to strengthen border controls and internal security.
On Tuesday morning, Abdesalem Lassoued, a 45-year-old undocumented Tunisian, died at the hands of the Belgian Police in the Schaerbeek neighborhood in Brussels. Lassoued was the main suspect in shooting at passers-by on Monday night with a firearm, an attack that left two Swedish citizens dead.
In a statement, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office detailed the conditions under which the alleged attacker was questioned.
“Shortly after 8:00 this morning, a witness informed the Brussels Police that he had seen the alleged attacker outside a cafe in Schaerbeek,” the official statement states.
According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, after the police shot the attacker, emergency services arrived and “attempted to resuscitate the suspect,” who was “taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead.” A gun and a bag with clothes were found in the cafe.
The Brussels Prosecutor’s Office still has an open investigation into the shooting.
Abdesalem Lassoued recorded a video on the social network Facebook after the attack. In the images, Lassoued claims responsibility for the shooting and claims to be a member of the Islamic State terrorist group. He also states that the death of Swedish citizens is in revenge for the death of Muslims, this while the conflict between Israel and Hamas was reactivated on October 7 and already leaves thousands of people dead on both sides.
“Belgium and Sweden cry together” over the terrorist attack
The Belgium-Sweden match, which was being played on Monday night as part of the qualifying phase for Euro 2024, was suspended at halftime with the score 1-1, and the nearly 30,000 spectators had to wait several hours in the stadium due to the security alert.
The stadium was gradually evacuated and the Swedish fans were escorted to the airport to return home.
The Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, stated in a press conference that this attack was directed against the Swedish people and recalled the existing tensions between his country and Islamic extremism after the burning of the Koran this year in Swedish territory.
Everything indicates that this is a terrorist attack directed at Sweden and Swedish citizens just for the fact of being Swedes (…) These terrorists want to scare us so that we obey and remain silent. That will not happen
Kristersson stressed that Sweden and the European Union need to better protect their borders and ensure that “dangerous individuals” do not remain irregularly within the bloc’s countries.
Sweden raised its terrorist alert while the Government warns that “the country has become a priority target for jihadists.”
Kristersson will visit Belgium on Wednesday to pay tribute to the victims.
Kristersson’s visit comes at the invitation of Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who declared that “Belgium and Sweden mourn the victims together.”
Macron: “All European states are vulnerable”
Other European leaders also condemned the events in Belgian territory. French President Emmanuel Macron went further and stated that there is an extremist threat in Europe.
Since the October 7 war broke out between Israel and Hamas, France has experienced scenes of chaos and violence. On October 13, a teacher was stabbed to death in a school in France by a young man of Chechen origin who was booked by the police due to his radicalization.
Meanwhile, several iconic sites such as the Palace of Versailles and train stations have been evacuated due to bomb threats in recent days. Given the context, France raised its anti-terrorist alert to the maximum.
With Reuters, AP and local media
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