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Brussels Terror Attack Suspect Shot Dead by Police

Brussels Terror Attack
Police in Brussels shot and killed a terrorist suspect it believes was inspired by the Islamic State Group. File Photo. Credit: mangopulp2008,  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Brussels police on Tuesday morning shot dead a man suspected of killing two Swedish football fans in a terror attack on Monday night.

Abdesalem Lassoued, 45, was shot in a café in the Schaerbeek neighborhood. He posted a video online saying he had killed people in the name of God and the prosecutor’s office believes he was inspired by the Islamic State Group.

In a press conference, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the suspect was “a man of Tunisian origin” who “was staying illegally in our country.”

Monday night’s attack took place around one and a half kilometers north of the city center’s Grand Place, and not far from the Sainte Catherine area — a popular spot filled with restaurants and bars.

It happened shortly before Belgium played Sweden in an international football match, which was abandoned after the slayings.

De Croo said the shooter “targeted specifically Swedish football supporters,” and that a full investigation into the “brutal terrorist attack” is underway.

The Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuw said the shooter wore a fluorescent orange jacket. Several media outlets broadcast amateur videos displaying a man firing multiple shots near a station using a large firearm.

Brussels in heightened alert after terror attack

Heightened security measures will be implemented in sensitive locations in Belgium, particularly those associated with the Swedish community, De Croo said.

Sweden has been on the front line of blowback from hard-line Islamists, due to repeated Quran burnings — including a spate this summer which led Stockholm to increase the country’s security threat level.

In September riots broke out after an Iraqi anti-Islam activist Salwan Momika set fire to a copy of the Islamic holy book. He had previously desecrated the Quran, in a series of anti-Islam protests, and his actions have caused diplomatic outrage across the Middle East.

In August neighboring Denmark, which has also seen several public burnings of the Quran, said it planned to ban public desecration of holy books.

In the city’s European Quarter, the European Commission has urged staff to work from home. Visitors are barred from accessing EU buildings and car parks are closed, according to internal staff alerts seen by Brussels Playbook.

Speaking on Belgian radio, Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said: “All security services are now working hard to ensure that normal life can continue as best as possible. For the city of Brussels, the services, sports centers and cultural centers are open as usual today as much as possible.”

Related: U.S. Warns of Possible Terror Attacks in Turkey After Quran Burning

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