UPDATE: Attacker dead, “We think this is an act of terror,” a federal prosecutor told Le Soir.
Belgium’s capital (and EU’s headquarters) Brussels is currently in lock-down after a machete wielding jihadist attacked soldiers in the city center. According to Belgium’s counter-terrorism office, the terrorist was “neutralized” by the soldiers, i.e. he was gunned down after he attacked 2 of them with a machete.
— Thomas da Silva Rosa (@tdasilvarosa) August 25, 2017
Early police reports describe the terrorist to be in critical condition after getting shot and he’s currently in a hospital. A cordon was set up around the area while center Brussels is currently in lock-down. The attack took place at approximately 8.20pm local time in the close vicinity of Emile-Jacqmain boulevard.
It’s interesting that the terrorist chose his victims very close to a street where the Islamic State/ISIS had called for vehicular terrorist attacks. In the same area, Belgium’s security forces arrested a suspected suicide-bomber in a shopping mall.
Two soldiers were injured by the assailant and currently the area is flooded with police and forensics. The 30 year old attacker was not named by Belgium authorities and according to some reports, he died at the scene, even if emergency services tried to resuscitate him.
Below you can see a call on the Telegram app from a jihadist account for Islamic terrorists to mow down pedestrians on Rue Neuve, Brussels’ second most popular shopping street. Rue Neuve is near the Emile-Jacqmain boulevard where today’s attack took place. On the exact same Rue Neuve a man wearing a suicide belt was arrested last year near the City 2 Shopping Centre. It was later discovered that the suicide belt was fake.
A Belgian spokesman for the Prosecution Office said about today’s attacker (though they did not reveal his name, I wonder why):
‘With the identity that we currently have it is a 30-year-old man who is not known for terrorist activities.’