Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Brussels police stabbed in terror attack in Islamist hotbed Schaerbeek district. Attacker is known to Belgian police, served as Belgian army officer until 2009, is believed to have jihadist links. Hours earlier commuters had been evacuated from Brussels Nord station in a bomb scare-BBC, UK Guardian

Oct. 5, 2016, "Brussels police stabbed in 'terror attack'," BBC 

"Two police officers have been stabbed in Brussels in a possible terrorist incident, Belgian prosecutors say.

One officer was stabbed in the neck and another in the stomach, while a third officer who arrived at the scene in Schaerbeek district suffered a broken nose, Belgian broadcaster VRT reports.

The attacker was shot in the leg and taken away by ambulance. Authorities have named the attacker as "Hicham D", 43, of Belgian nationality.

Belgian media report that Hicham D is known to Belgian police and is believed to have links to jihadists who travelled to Syria to fight. He also served as a Belgian army officer until 2009

"We have reason to believe that the incident was a terrorist attack," a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, Eric Van Der Sypt, said.

Belgian prosecutors said the officers had not suffered life-threatening injuries. The attack happened near a main road in a region linked to previous terror attacks

It comes just hours after commuters were evacuated from Brussels Nord station over a bomb scare

Belgium has been on high alert following attacks in Brussels on the airport and the city's metro system in March, which killed 35 people and injured more than 300. The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group."


Apparently one of the injured police officers was a woman who was found bleeding and crying. The attacker was able to get away from the first two police. He was stopped by another police group who happened to be in a car and have a gun. The attacker broke the nose of one of the police in the second group, after which the broken nosed cop shot the attacker in the leg. The attacker was taken to a hospital where no doubt he'll have the best of care:

10/5/16, "Brussels stabbing: two police officers targeted in suspected terror attack," UK Guardian, Jennifer Rankin in Brussels and agencies

"Assailant knifed one officer in the neck and the other in the abdomen in Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels."

"Two police officers have been stabbed in Brussels in an incident that could be terror-related, prosecutors say. A 43-year old Belgian man stabbed one officer in the neck and the other in the abdomen in the north-east of the Belgian capital on Wednesday and then fled the scene.

The assailant was stopped by a second group of police officers. He broke the nose of one officer, who shot him in the leg.

The federal prosecutor’s spokesman, Eric Van Der Sypt, said: “We have reason to believe that it is terror-related.” He declined to provide details or explain why prosecutors suspected the attack was linked to terrorism.

Belgium has been on high alert since 32 people were killed in suicide bomb attacks on the Brussels airport and metro on 22 March.

The suspect in the latest incident was identified as Hicham D, 43, a Belgian citizen. A judge will decide later on his “possible detention”, the prosecutor said.

Jan Jambon, Belgium’s interior minister, tweeted: “All my support to the police in Schaerbeek.”

One unnamed witness told the state broadcaster RTBF: “I saw the attacker who struck the officer to the ground. The officer rolled into the bushes, but [the attacker] followed and continued to beat him.

Afterwards he struck the woman, she was crying and bleeding

Then the police arrived, they got out of the car and shot him.

According to Belgian media, the assailant did not make any statement or demands during the attack.

The attack took place in Schaerbeek, a large, socially mixed district, where grand art nouveau mansions sit near scruffy 1960s-era housing and supermarkets. 

The district came to global attention earlier this year when it emerged that the Brussels bombers had made their bombs in a Schaerbeek flat. Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, who blew himself up at Brussels airport, and Mohamed Abrini, who became known as ”the man in the hat” before his eventual capture, were taken by taxi to Zaventem airport from Schaerbeek.

El-Bakraoui and accomplice Najim Laachraoui blew themselves up, while Abrini went on the run after his suitcase bomb failed to detonate.

The latest attack took place less than a mile from the Brussels bombers’ hideout.

Belgian cities remain tense following the March bombings, with soldiers guarding embassies and patrolling railway stations in the capital. In August two police officers were injured in the city of Charleroi in a machete attack claimed by Islamic State."


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