The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced, Friday, that the man who stabbed a policeman to death, Thursday evening, in Brussels, had previously been imprisoned for common right crimes, and was on the lists of the local “Occam” body tasked with analyzing the terrorist threat.
The same source said that the suspect, identified as “Yassin M., born in 1990 in Brussels”, shouted “God is greatest” while attacking two policemen with a knife in their car parked at a red light.
One of the policemen, Thomas M. (29 years) in the neck and died of his injuries, while the other was injured in the right arm and underwent surgery the same night, and his condition is not dangerous, according to what the Federal Prosecutor confirmed during a press conference.
The investigative judge handled the case of “assassination and an attempted assassination committed in a terrorist context.”
The attacker was “shot” during the intervention of another police patrol called for support, and is being treated in hospital.
The attack took place Thursday around 18:15 GMT in the Schaerbeek district of Brussels, in the La Gare du Nord district.
The investigation is looking into a possible psychiatric history of the suspect.
Yassin M. was imprisoned. “Between 2013 and 2019” in “crimes related to the common right”, it is “on a list compiled by Ockham” of extremists considered dangerous.
Brussels Public Prosecutor Tim de Wolff said Yassin M. On Thursday morning he came to a police station in Brussels and “made incoherent positions”.
“He was talking about hate against the police and asking for psychological care,” he added.
“At the request of the duty judge,” he said, officers took the suspect to the psychiatric emergency room of a Brussels hospital, and then managed to leave the hospital in circumstances that are not yet clear.
The prosecution stated that the police patrol left the hospital after confirming that Yassin M. He receives care from nurses.
“Later, the police called the hospital to make sure that the person was under observation. It turned out that he had left the hospital,” the Brussels public prosecutor’s office added.
This raised questions and protests even within the government coalition led by Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo.
“How can a judge release a person classified as a ‘terrorist threat’ when he says he wants to attack the police? This is unacceptable,” tweeted the head of the ruling Reform Movement, Georges-Louis Bouchet.
“The judge has to provide explanations, and the investigation is necessary,” he added.
According to the Brussels Public Prosecutor, who defended the position of the investigating judge, Yassin M. He “did not meet the legal criteria” for involuntary confinement because he “voluntarily” received treatment. A 1990 law strictly regulates restrictions on the freedom of persons with mental disorders.
Police unions called Friday for a “national demonstration” in Brussels on November 28 against violence against police officers.