Attacker who killed Swedes in Brussels shot dead by police

Monday evening, Belgian police fired and killed a man suspected of murdering two Swedish nationals in the capital city of Brussels.

The 45-year-old male, identified as Abdesalem by Belgian media, was shot in a Schaerbeek neighborhood café.

A third Swedish citizen was severely injured in the attack, which occurred 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the stadium where Belgium and Sweden were playing to qualify for Euro 2024.

The victims are all men in their 60s and 70s, according to Swedish authorities. An individual opened fire with an automatic rifle on the Boulevard d'Ypres - north of the city center - at 19:00 (17:00 GMT) on Monday.

Online videos depicted a man riding a scooter while wearing an orange fluorescent garment and opening fire on pedestrians. He then pursues individuals into the entryway of an apartment building, where he shoots them.

There are four gunshots heard. Shortly after the assault, he recorded himself on camera confessing to the murders. In the video, the Arabic-speaking shooter mentions warring for God and claims to have murdered Swedish citizens.

The perpetrator was apprehended on Tuesday morning after a manhunt that spanned the previous night, during which France increased border security with Belgium.

A witness reported to the police that he had seen the suspect in a cafe near his residence in Schaerbeek, north of Brussels, and that he was carrying a military weapon and a duffel bag containing clothing.

The suspect was subsequently located. The suspect was shot in the torso and transported to the hospital, where he received intensive care treatment but ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

It is believed that he is a Tunisian man who entered Belgium illegally in 2020 after his asylum application was denied. The Swedish prosecutor's office believes he was motivated to perpetrate the murders by the Islamic State (IS) organization.

Annelies Verlinden, the Belgian minister of the interior, stated that the automatic weapon discovered on the suspect was identical to the one used in the attack.

Following the murders, the country's threat level was raised to four, its maximum level. The threat level was reduced to three on Tuesday after authorities determined that the suspect's assassination had eliminated the immediate danger.

Belgian prosecutors initially stated that there did not appear to be any connection between the attack and the Israel-Gaza conflict, but subsequently stated that this possibility could not be ruled out.

The Swedish government has advised its citizens in Belgium and abroad to remain vigilant. Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden stated, "Everything points to this being a terrorist attack against Sweden and Swedish citizens."

Belgium and Sweden's Euro 2024 qualifying match was abandoned at halftime due to security concerns. Approximately 35,000 fans had to wait for hours before being evacuated from the King Baudouin Stadium.

Vincent Van Quickenborne, the minister of justice, stated that the suspect posed a threat to national security, was suspected of human trafficking, and was known to police in relation to people smuggling.

A French anti-terror prosecutor stated on Tuesday that the man who mortally stabbed a teacher at a school in the northern city of Arras last week had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State prior to the attack. There is no evidence to imply a connection between this and the Brussels incident.