A man from Rwanda is in custody after a shootout in Brussels, Belgium, during which he claimed to have a car filled with explosives. No civilians were hurt during the incident, and police are still investigating the man’s motives.
The incident happened in the Molenbeek section of Brussels, home to a large Muslim population from Africa that has been dubbed the “jihadi capital of Europe.” Molenbeek was home to the ISIS cell that carried out the Paris terror attacks in 2015 that killed over 130 people. Belgium is bordered by France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The possible connection to terror, including the man’s country of origin, have Brussels residents on edge. After the Paris attacks, the same ISIS-inspired terrorist cell carried out an attack in Brussels that killed over 30.
Today’s incident started with a routine traffic stop that escalated into a pursuit by police. After a high speed chase, the driver attempted to back up into a police car, forcing officers to open fire.
Police cordoned off the area and told residents to remain indoors while military units checked for explosives.
Brussels police spokeswoman Dorothee Cattrysse said 400 to 500 people were being kept in the stores.
Police spokeswoman Ine van Wymersch told Reuters: ‘The man was driving suspiciously and failed to stop at a traffic light.
‘When the police arrested him, he claimed to have explosives so not to take any risk, the army has been called in to check.’
She said ‘mentally unstable’ suspect was from Rwanda and was not known to have a police record.
The vehicle was reportedly registered in Germany. It was understood the man was alone. No-one was injured.
Here is video of the aftermath of the Brussels terror incident from The Daily Mail.
We will update this story as new details become available.