Antwerp foils terror attack by Tunisian who had been ordered to leave the country
Police arrested a African Muslim in Antwerp in Belgium who tried to rush into shoppers with his vehicle, less than 24 hours after the attack in London.
Published: March 24, 2017, 9:10 am
People had dodged the speeding car not to be killed. It is still unclear whether there were any serious injuries. The man is thought to originate from an North African country.
Police seized knives and a gun in his car. The attack comes a day after a similar attack in London during which four people died and 40 were injured.
The vehicle of the alleged Antwerp attacker was also transporting containers filled with liquid gas.
Terrified pedestrians ran out of the way of the car in The Meir shopping street in Antwerp on Thursday as the vehicle was gathering speed. Witnesses said they had ducked when the driver had stepped on the pedal.
The alleged attacker, who was wearing camouflage clothing, was later arrested by the police, local media reported.
The incident is being investigated as a possible terrorist attack, a federal prosecutor confirmed and added that the suspect was a French national living in France.
Local media said he was a 39-year-old Muslim known as Mohamed R. The French-Tunisian Mohamed R. was also asked by Belgium to leave the country.
A week ago, he was arrested in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. Dutch newsagency AD.nl reported the arrest on Friday based on information from the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
He was arrested for unknown reasons in Rotterdam on Friday 17 March. There he received the order to leave the Netherlands, according to AD.nl. He was later questioned at the home of a friend in Hoboken, Belgium on Monday evening.
Police in the Belgian port city said the vehicle was registered in France, and was noticed when it approached the busy Scheldt River area.
In January, the country’s largest local police force, which is stationed in Antwerp, launched a pilot program to recruit local Muslim officers, especially applicants with immigration backgrounds.
But the tough federal entrance exam that requires a knowlegde of Flemish as well as French, have prevented such applicants from passing.
Almost half of Antwerp’s residents have an immigrant background, but only 7 percent of the 2 600-strong police are non-Europeans.
If the pilot program is successful, the authorities said they would implement the program nationwide to “diversify” the police in order to be able to cope with mounting terrorism.
The British police have since released more information about the four victims of the London terrorist attacks, as well as the attacker who was shot dead by police. He was apparently also known by other names.
Police on Thursday announced the attacker’s identity as Khalid Masood, but it came to light that he was born as “Adrian Elms” in Kent in 1964. Eight people, all Asian Muslims, are still in custody in connection with the attack.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
With the German federal election approaching, attacks on Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and its supporters have risen sharply.
RomeItalian Northern League (LN) leader Matteo Salvini said on Friday that he would appeal against a decision by a Genoa court to freeze party funds.
In the German states that used to make up West Germany — particularly in the areas where many ethnic Russian Germans live — the AfD has recently received 20 or 30 or even 40 percent of the vote in state elections.
Polish foreign minister, and member of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, said Germany should consider paying Poland World War II reparations. Witold Waszczykowski believes Germany owed his country as much as $1 trillion in reparations.
BerlinOn Monday, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, the German Muslim League (Deutsche Muslim Liga) and the Islamische Zeitung newspaper revealed the results of a survey sent to German political parties soon to be represented in the next parliament, except the AfD.
"The AFD feels unfairly treated by the state broadcaster ZDF", headlined the Basler Zeitung while reporting on the election campaign debate "How's Germany" in which the AfD candidate walked out during a live debate.
The HagueHigh level delegations of both Vlaams Belang [Flemish Interest] and the Dutch Freedom Party, the PVV are currently meeting in the Second Chamber building in The Hague. The meeting on Thursday will see the parties of Tom van Grieken and Geert Wilders sharing experiences and strategies to counter oppressive Islamization in Flanders and the Netherlands.
BrusselsBelgian newspaper De Standaard reported on 31 August that the Italian secret service was paying Libyan human traffickers to keep immigrants away from the Meditteranean Sea.
Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders gave an historic speech on national sovereignty at the Ambrosetti conference at Villa d’Este, in Italy, sharing the stage with Euro commissioner Frans Timmermans.
The leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party, Martin Schulz, said in an interview with Bild that Crimea's status as a part of Russia must be accepted.