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Belgium Charges Suspect in Connection With Brussels Attack

A 44-year-old Tunisian man was arrested by Belgian authorities in connection with last week’s killing of two Swedish soccer fans, the federal prosecutor’s office said Thursday.

The Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office said it was seeking to determine whether the man in custody could “possibly be linked to the weapon used during the terrorist attack.”

Prosecutors say the man, who was arrested Wednesday, stands accused of, “terrorist murder, attempted terrorist murder and participation in a terrorist organization.”

On Tuesday, French anti-terrorism prosecutors said that they, too, had charged two individuals believed to have ties to the shooter.

Suspected shooter killed by police

Abdesalam L. is said to have shot dead two Swedish soccer fans and wounded a third before a Belgium-Sweden international football match in Brussels last week.

A day later, the suspected gunman was fatally shot in a police operation.

One of the Paris suspects knew the 45-year-old Tunisian man, but his lawyer, Souleymen Rakrouki, denied that he had any involvement with the incident in Brussels.

The attacker “is a friend he has known for a long time; he had not seen any sign of radicalization. He could have never imagined such an act,” Rakrouki told French news agency AFP. 

Brussels attack fallout

Before he was shot, the suspected Brussels shooter identified himself as a member of the so-called Islamic State.

Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne announced his resignation on Friday after revealing that authorities failed to deport the suspect.

Van Quickenborne told a press conference that Tunisia had sought his extradition in August last year, but Belgian authorities did not act.

The shooter had already spent time in prison in Sweden, and his asylum claim was rejected by Belgian authorities in 2020.

Source : DW



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