Huge manhunt underway after two shot dead in Brussels gun rampage: Dramatic video shows attacker fleeing on motorbike after opening fire on taxi killing group wearing Swedish football shirts to ‘avenge’ death of US-Palestinian boy

Belgian police have launched a city-wide manhunt after a gunman claiming to be a supporter of ISIS shot dead two people in Brussels.

The man opened fire on a group of Swedish football fans in a taxi as they passed through Boulevard d’Ypres just a few minutes north of the city’s famous Grand Plaza ahead of Belgium’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Sweden.

Disturbing video taken by passers-by purportedly shows the attacker on a motorbike stalking people and shooting them in public, with other images circulating online showing the body of one person inside a taxi.

Dramatic video later appeared to show the gunman, who was dressed in a fluorescent orange jacket, fleeing on a motorbike while being tailed by a member of the public.

Following the incident the alleged attacker used the name ‘Slayem Slouma’ to boast about the two murders on Facebook, adding he sought to avenge the killing of a six-year-old US-Palestinian boy.

Speaking in Arabic, the man – named by local media as 45-year-old Abdesalem Lassoued – celebrated the slaughter, and said he committed them in the name of ISIS.

The shooter remains at large. Police confirmed that the man in the video – wearing an orange jacket, black scarf, yellow baseball hat and heavy black beard – was the one they were searching for in relation to the attack.

Video shows a man dressed in a fluorescent orange jacket and carrying a gun driving through the streets of Brussels

Video shows a man dressed in a fluorescent orange jacket and carrying a gun driving through the streets of Brussels

Video shows a man dressed in a fluorescent orange jacket and carrying a gun driving through the streets of Brussels

Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived soon at the scene in Brussels, and sealed off the immediate neighbourhood

Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived soon at the scene in Brussels, and sealed off the immediate neighbourhood

Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived soon at the scene in Brussels, and sealed off the immediate neighbourhood

The shooting took place in  Boulevard d'Ypres just a few minutes north of the city's famous Grand Plaza

The shooting took place in  Boulevard d'Ypres just a few minutes north of the city's famous Grand Plaza

The shooting took place in  Boulevard d’Ypres just a few minutes north of the city’s famous Grand Plaza

A picture of the man - said to be involved in today's shooting in Brussels - was captured in mobile phone footage

A picture of the man - said to be involved in today's shooting in Brussels - was captured in mobile phone footage

A picture of the man – said to be involved in today’s shooting in Brussels – was captured in mobile phone footage

Local media have named the suspect as 45-year-old Abdesalem Lassoued (pictured)

Local media have named the suspect as 45-year-old Abdesalem Lassoued (pictured)

Local media have named the suspect as 45-year-old Abdesalem Lassoued (pictured)

The man is reported to have said he was avenging the stabbing of six-year-old US-Palestinian boy Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was knifed to death in Plainfield, Illinois, on Saturday morning

The man is reported to have said he was avenging the stabbing of six-year-old US-Palestinian boy Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was knifed to death in Plainfield, Illinois, on Saturday morning

The man is reported to have said he was avenging the stabbing of six-year-old US-Palestinian boy Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was knifed to death in Plainfield, Illinois, on Saturday morning

Police  at the site of a shooting incident in the Boulevard d'Ypres in Brussels

Police  at the site of a shooting incident in the Boulevard d'Ypres in Brussels

Police  at the site of a shooting incident in the Boulevard d’Ypres in Brussels

A map shows the location of the killing in Brussels city centre and that of the King Baudouin Stadium in the city's northwestern suburbs

A map shows the location of the killing in Brussels city centre and that of the King Baudouin Stadium in the city's northwestern suburbs

A map shows the location of the killing in Brussels city centre and that of the King Baudouin Stadium in the city’s northwestern suburbs

Many Sweden fans at King Baudouin Stadium were tearful and clung to each other for support, while others checked their mobile phones for the latest information

Many Sweden fans at King Baudouin Stadium were tearful and clung to each other for support, while others checked their mobile phones for the latest information

Many Sweden fans at King Baudouin Stadium were tearful and clung to each other for support, while others checked their mobile phones for the latest information

Belgian police and forensic examiners work at the scene of a shooting in the Boulevard d'Ypres

Belgian police and forensic examiners work at the scene of a shooting in the Boulevard d'Ypres

Belgian police and forensic examiners work at the scene of a shooting in the Boulevard d’Ypres

The city’s terror alert has been raised to a level 4 – its highest, with the spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor telling people to ‘Go home and stay at home as long as the threat has not been eradicated’. 

The Swedes were wearing their team’s jerseys and were believed to be on their way to a match at King Baudouin Stadium, where Sweden were playing Belgium. A third person is said to be seriously injured. 

The match between Belgium and Sweden has now been abandoned, with players and fans locked inside the stadium. 

The match was called off after ‘the players decided they do not want to continue the game, because of what happened earlier today in Brussels,’ an announcement said.

A UEFA spokesperson said: ‘Following a suspected terrorist attack in Brussels this evening, it has been decided, after consultation with the two teams and the local police authorities, that the qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden is abandoned.

‘Further communication will be made in due course.’

Footage shared online shows the alleged shooter dressed in a fluorescent orange jacket arriving at the scene on his moped. 

The alleged shooter then ran after several people as they flee into a building, while firing from an automatic rifle.

The OCAD anti-terror centre also said that the terror alert for the rest of the country was raised to its second-highest level.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo suggested the attack was linked to ‘terrorism’ and convened an emergency meeting of top Cabinet ministers.

‘I have just offered my sincere condolences to @SwedishPM following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels,’ De Croo said. He added on X, formerly known as Twitter, ‘As close partners the fight against terrorism is a joint one.’

It was not immediately clear if the shooting was linked to the international uproar over the Israel-Hamas war.

‘A horrible shooting in Brussels, and the perpetrator is actively being tracked down,’ said Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, adding that she was joining government talks at the National Crisis Center.

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo urged civilians to be vigilant and said: 'My deepest condolences to the relatives of the cowardly assassination attempt in Brussels'

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo urged civilians to be vigilant and said: 'My deepest condolences to the relatives of the cowardly assassination attempt in Brussels'

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo urged civilians to be vigilant and said: ‘My deepest condolences to the relatives of the cowardly assassination attempt in Brussels’

Laura Demullier of the OCAD center said in an interview that the highest priority for authorities now was to get thousands of football fans attending the Belgium-Sweden soccer match safely out of the stadium where the match had been abandoned half way through

Harrowing footage of the attack taken by bystanders shows a man shooting several times using a large weapon while shouting in Arabic, as members of the public run for their lives.

Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reports the gunman used an automatic rifle and fled the scene on his scooter.

He is reported to have said he was avenging the stabbing of six-year-old US-Palestinian boy Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was knifed to death in Plainfield, Illinois, on Saturday morning. 

Wadea was stabbed 26 times and his mother, Hanaan Shahin, was stabbed over a dozen times, by a man allegedly screaming ‘You Muslims must die!’

Joseph Czuba, 71, is charged with murdering the boy.

Forensic investigators at the scene in Brussels were two people were shot dead by a gunman

Forensic investigators at the scene in Brussels were two people were shot dead by a gunman

Forensic investigators at the scene in Brussels were two people were shot dead by a gunman

Players, fans and match officials observe a minute's silence prior to match between Belgium and Sweden at King Baudouin Stadium

Players, fans and match officials observe a minute's silence prior to match between Belgium and Sweden at King Baudouin Stadium

Players, fans and match officials observe a minute’s silence prior to match between Belgium and Sweden at King Baudouin Stadium

Sweden fans inside King Baudouin Stadium, where the match has been suspended following the two killings of two Swedes in Brussels earlier this evening

Sweden fans inside King Baudouin Stadium, where the match has been suspended following the two killings of two Swedes in Brussels earlier this evening

Sweden fans inside King Baudouin Stadium, where the match has been suspended following the two killings of two Swedes in Brussels earlier this evening

Swedish fans look to each other for support amid tense scenes inside King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels

Swedish fans look to each other for support amid tense scenes inside King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels

Swedish fans look to each other for support amid tense scenes inside King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels

The match was abandoned at halftime after two Swedes were killed in a shooting in central Brussels before kickoff

The match was abandoned at halftime after two Swedes were killed in a shooting in central Brussels before kickoff

The match was abandoned at halftime after two Swedes were killed in a shooting in central Brussels before kickoff

A forensic examiner coombs the scene while Belgian police secure the area after a shooting in Brussels

A forensic examiner coombs the scene while Belgian police secure the area after a shooting in Brussels

A forensic examiner coombs the scene while Belgian police secure the area after a shooting in Brussels

Swedish Justice Minister, Gunnar Strommer, said his government was working with authorities in Belgium ‘to get more information about what happened’.

‘Tonight we have received terrible news from Brussels,’ he said in a statement.

‘The government office and relevant authorities are working intensively to get more information about what happened.’

The gunman was travelling on a moped, and was heard to shout ‘Allahu Akabar’ – Arab for God is the Greatest – by witnesses.

An investigating source said: ‘He was also screaming about carrying out a revenge attack. He was shooting at various people, and hit a number of them. This had all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack.’

The source said there was also a video circulating on social media in which the attacker explains having to ‘take revenge’ by killing three people from Sweden.

The suspect, who was wearing a crash helmet and fluorescent jacket, was brandishing a ‘Kalashnikov-style’ weapon, and had also fired at man in the lobby of a nearby building.

The emergency services arrived in large numbers within minutes, but no suspect was arrested.

The investigating source added: ‘The alleged perpetrator has posted a video in which he is a member of ISIS’. 

The claim was also published by Sudinfo, one of the largest news outlets in Belgium, which said the Facebook post shows the man ‘boasting about having murdered infidels.’ 

It adds: ‘In his very violent speech, he said he had shot two people to avenge the Muslims and that we live and die for our religion.’ 

A Belgium government spokesman said representatives of the country’s security services, public prosecutor’s office and cabinet had gathered at a Crisis Centre, to discuss the terrorist motive. 

‘All partners have indeed been called together,’ said Laura Demullier, spokesperson for the state Crisis Center. 

Belgian police officers from the forensic service search for evidence in a street after two people were killed

Belgian police officers from the forensic service search for evidence in a street after two people were killed

Belgian police officers from the forensic service search for evidence in a street after two people were killed

Uproar among Sweden fans during the European Championship qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden

Uproar among Sweden fans during the European Championship qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden

Uproar among Sweden fans during the European Championship qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden

Police cordon off an area where a shooting took place in the center of Brussels

Police cordon off an area where a shooting took place in the center of Brussels

Police cordon off an area where a shooting took place in the center of Brussels

Belgian police officers walk as they secure the area in Boulevard d'Ypres, close to the canal

Belgian police officers walk as they secure the area in Boulevard d'Ypres, close to the canal

Belgian police officers walk as they secure the area in Boulevard d’Ypres, close to the canal

Investigators search the scene left behind by a suspect who is on the run, the Belgian capital's prosecutor's office said

Investigators search the scene left behind by a suspect who is on the run, the Belgian capital's prosecutor's office said

Investigators search the scene left behind by a suspect who is on the run, the Belgian capital’s prosecutor’s office said

This photograph shows the police cordon in place at the sight of the shooting in the Boulevard d'Ypres

This photograph shows the police cordon in place at the sight of the shooting in the Boulevard d'Ypres

This photograph shows the police cordon in place at the sight of the shooting in the Boulevard d’Ypres

Belgian police secure the area after two people were shot dead in Brussels

Belgian police secure the area after two people were shot dead in Brussels

Belgian police secure the area after two people were shot dead in Brussels

The centre of Brussels was brought to a standstill after a lone gunman shot two people dead this evening

The centre of Brussels was brought to a standstill after a lone gunman shot two people dead this evening

The centre of Brussels was brought to a standstill after a lone gunman shot two people dead this evening

Belgium police stand at the site of a shooting incident

Belgium police stand at the site of a shooting incident

Belgium police stand at the site of a shooting incident

‘Everyone is asked to come here as soon as possible to discuss the next move.’

Police spokeswoman Ilse Vande Keere said officers arrived soon at the scene, and sealed off the immediate neighbourhood.

She declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the shooting.

There has also been controversy in Sweden over Charlie Hebdo-style cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

A Brussels police spokesman said: ‘We are talking about two people dead, and they are believed to be Swedish.’

Belgium has suffered a series of terrorist attacks in recent years – all of it related to Islamist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Eight men have just been tried for their connections to the 2016 suicide bombings that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds at Brussels airport and a subway station.

In September, a Brussels court handed out sentences ranging up to life in prison to eight men for the jihadist bombings in Brussels.

French citizen Salah Abdeslam and Belgian-Moroccan Mohamed Abrini – already sentenced to life in jail by France for the November 2015 massacre in Paris – were the highest-profile of six defendants found guilty of murder in July.

Abrini, who was one of the intended bombers but decided not to blow himself up at the last moment, was given a 30-year jail term.

The court ruled not to give Abdeslam an additional term after he was sentenced in Belgium to 20 years in 2018 over a shootout.

The attacks – near the headquarters of both NATO and the EU – were part of a wave of attacks claimed by the Islamic State group in Europe.

Sweden in August raised its terrorist alert to the second highest level, warning of an increase in threats against Swedish interests also abroad, after Koran burnings and other acts in Sweden against Islam’s holiest text outraged Muslims and triggered threats from jihadists.

The Swedish government has condemned the burnings and is considering amending laws that could stop them but critics say such moves need to preserve far-reaching freedom of speech.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *