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.
A French academic has suggested creating a Muslim apartheid state within France in order to prevent a coming clash.
INTERVIEWFreeWestMedia spoke with Hans-Joachim Frey, German cultural manager and former Director at the Semperoper in Dresden, about the effects of the anti-Russian sanctions in the field of culture.
With the deadline just hours away, German chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP put their negotiations on ice at 4:30 in the morning local time.
A couple called their newborn Jihad this summer in Toulouse. In a context marked by terrorism, this choice was the subject of a report to the public prosecutor.
INTERVIEWVienna-based, well known business firm owner Kirstin Stanzel about the problems and chances of the economic perspectives between Europe and Russia.
Britain's future king has unleashed a storm after a letter he reportedly penned in 1986 was released, in which he said the US should "take on the Jewish lobby".
Documenta, Germany’s leading contemporary art festival which takes place every five years in the city of Kassel, was sued before the completion of an audit due in November by the AfD.
A female anaesthetist working in German hospitals, told The Express that the German health service was being overwhelmed by the influx migrants with unknown diseases who refuse to be treated by female doctors.
Members of Austria's Freedom Party on Thursday did not display their usual blue cornflowers which matches the party's colours. Leftists have maintained that the blue flower is associated with Nazism.
More than 50 000 people rallied in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao against Spain's direct rule of Catalonia. This Basque Country region had boasted its own separatist movement, ETA.