The Latest: Officials: Brussels attacker sympathized with IS
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on explosion at Brussels Central Station (all times local):
Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office says that the attacker who tried to set off a nail bomb at Brussels Central Station sympathized with the Islamic State group.
The office also said that police who raided the Moroccan man’s home found “chemicals and material that can be used to make explosives.”
The statement from the federal prosecutor’s office also said that the 36-year-old “likely made the bomb” at his home in the Molenbeek neighborhood. The attacker was killed by soldiers after he charged at them, shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”
Molenbeek was the home and transit point for many of the suspects linked to attacks in Brussels and in Paris in November 2015.
Police in Belgium have raided the home of the attack suspect who was killed at the Brussels Central Station and took bags full of evidence with them.
The raid was held in Molenbeek hours after the police had full details about the man who sought to explode a nail bomb in the station, but caused only two minor blasts. Soldiers killed the man after he charged at them shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”
The man was from the Molenbeek neighborhood, the home and transit point for many of the suspects linked to attacks in Brussels and in Paris in November 2015.
A federal magistrate in Belgium says that the suspect who was shot and killed by soldiers at the Brussels central station had Moroccan nationality and wasn’t known to authorities for terror activities.
Eric Van der Sypt said Tuesday that the man sought to explode a bomb on Monday but it failed to fully detonate. He said that “it was clear he wanted to cause much more damage than what happened. The bag exploded twice but it could have been a lot worse.”
Van der Sypt said the attack suspect’s bag at Brussels station contained gas canisters and nails. He said that the attacker then charged at soldiers while shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.” The soldiers fatally shot the attacker.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says that the shooting of a suspect at the Brussels Central train station “could have been potentially very dangerous.”
He said there were more explosives that the suspect carried into the station than the small detonation that alerted the patrolling military to the man before they killed him.
Michel said more security measures would be put in place for large public events like the Coldplay concert at the King Baudouin stadium later Wednesday.
A Belgian government official said security will remain high Wednesday at Brussels rail facilities after a man blew up an explosive device at the city’s Central Station.
The man was shot by soldiers after detonating a small device there late Tuesday. He lay still for several hours while a bomb squad checked whether he was carrying more explosives and later died. No one else was hurt.
Central Station re-opened at 0800 (0600 GMT) Wednesday. A police command car and several officers were still at the station, an Associated Press photographer said.