(VitalNews.org) – A 45-year-old Tunisian man suspected of being a radical Islamist was shot dead by police the morning after he killed two Swedish nationals on their way to watch a soccer match. Abdesalem Lassoued was known to authorities as a terror suspect with possible links to the terrorist organization ISIS.
He had been living in Belgium illegally for some time before the attack with his wife and daughter. His wife fled the family home with their daughter on Monday, October 16 – the day that Lassoued embarked on his violent rampage through the capital – and sought refuge with the police, telling them what she knew about her husband.
Lassoued, travelling on a moped and armed with an automatic rifle and handgun despite Belgium’s strict gun control laws, first opened fire at a van, killing one man instantly and wounding another. He continued firing at people and killed another Swedish man. Both victims had been wearing Swedish soccer jerseys ahead of Sweden’s Euro 2024 qualifier match against Belgium, which was due to take place nearby shortly after the killing. It is understood that Lassoued targeted the men based on their nationality as a form of revenge against Sweden. Protestors in Sweden have recently taken part in several Koran burnings, prompting outrage by Muslims around the world.
Less than two hours after killing the men and fleeing the scene, Lassoued posted a video on social media under the name “Slayem Slouma”, in which he took responsibility for the murders and claimed that he was taking revenge after the brutal killing of a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy in the US. In response to his video, Belgian ministers raised the terror level to the highest possible and warned people to stay home if possible.
Police searched for Lassoued and were able to corner him in a Brussels café the following morning. They shot him twice in the chest, and he was taken to hospital in an ambulance. He died from his wounds shortly after.
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