The Tunisian gunman suspected of killing two Swedish football fans in Brussels, calling himself Abdesalem Al Guilani, and named by police as Abdesalam L, was shot to death by police in a cafe on Tuesday.
The 45-year-old attacker identified himself as a member of Islamic State. The suspected shooter claimed responsibility for the cold-blooded murders in videos posted online.
Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said the suspect had unsuccessfully sought asylum in Belgium in November 2019 and had immigrated illegally. He was known to Belgian police in connection with human trafficking.
“The perpetrator targeted specifically Swedish supporters who were in Brussels to attend a Red Devils soccer match. Two Swedish compatriots passed away. A third person is recovering from severe injures,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said.
Abdesalem L reportedly carried out the attack partly due to reports of a 6-year-old Palestinian boy being stabbed to death.
The Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemned the terror attack and called for more realistic security measures.
“This is a time for more security, we can’t be naive,” he said.
“These terrorists want to scare us into obedience and silence. That will not happen,” he added.
Sweden’s Sapo security police warned of an increase in domestic and international attacks against Swedes and stated that they were in contact with their international counterparts.
“We are in a serious situation … Sweden has (over time) ended up in an increasingly clear focus of violent Islamist extremism,” a Sapo spokesperson said in a statement.
The terror attack comes in the wake of Hamas’ invasion of Israel, provoking a conflict that has killed over 1,300 Israelis and 2,800 Palestinians.