Brussels train station blast being treated as terror attack
BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities said they foiled a “terror attack” Tuesday when soldiers shot and killed a suspect after a small explosion at a busy Brussels train station that continued a week of attacks in the capitals of Europe.
Federal prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said soldiers “neutralized” a male suspect at the Central Station immediately after the explosion there on Tuesday night. The man lay still for several hours while a bomb squad checked whether he was armed with more explosives.
Prosecutor’s spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch confirmed his death early Wednesday and said no other explosives were found on his body. Some Belgian media had reported earlier that the suspect was wearing a bomb belt.
Belgium’s Crisis Center, which monitors security threats in the country, said based on initial information it did not see a need to raise the country’s terror threat to the highest level and kept it at the second-highest level.
Authorities set up a wide perimeter around the station, located near the city’s famed Grand Place square.
Van der Sypt said no one else was injured besides the suspect and the damage from the explosion was limited. The attack, which took place during a rare heatwave in Belgium, came around 8.30 p.m., well after the evening rush hour had dissipated.
Nicolas Van Herreweghen, who works for Belgium’s national rail company, said the male suspect was very agitated, yelling about jihadists and then “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before blowing up something on a baggage trolley.
He said the man appeared to be 30 to 35 years of age.