August 2017 Brussels attack
|August 2017 Brussels attack|
|Date||25 August 2017|
|Target||Brussels police officers|
|Deaths||1 (the attacker)|
Since the Paris attacks in 2015 and the 2016 Brussels bombings, soldiers have been on patrol in Brussels. The New York Times reported that Brussels had been "on edge" as a result of previous terrorist attacks, and Reuters reported that "1,200 soldiers patrol Belgium's main cities and the country is on its second highest threat level."
The assailant was Haashi Ayaanle, a 30-year-old male Somali immigrant born in 1987. Authorities say he was not known for terrorist activity. Ayaanle was shot and later died of his injuries in hospital. He arrived in Belgium in 2004 and was granted Belgian citizenship in 2015. Ayaanle lived in public housing in Bruges, where the mayor declared the suspect showed no prior signs of radicalization.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said that the assailant shouted "Allahu Akbar" twice as he rushed the soldiers, attacking them from behind. In addition to the large knife with which he attacked, Ayaanle was carrying a replica of a gun and a copy of the Quran. The alleged assailant, Haashi Ayaanle, worked for Victor Buyck Steel Construction in Eeklo as a welder from 2013 until April 2017. He was let go by the company after an incident in April 2017 when he attempted to attack fellow workers with a screwdriver. Although Ayaanle's fellow workers asserted that there had been no motive for the attack, Ayaanle told his attorney that they were peeking at him in his home and taking clandestine photos of him, causing the lawyer to request a mental status examination and resulting in Ayaanle being voluntarily hospitalized at St. Jan psychiatric hospital in Eeklo. He was discharged after three weeks, with advice to continue taking his prescribed medication. He found work again for a short time, before falling out of contact, even with his attorney. Ayaanle was reported as having been in contact with members of the Somali fundamentalist community.
The Amaq News Agency, claimed that Islamic State was responsible for the attack. According to the Amaq statement, "the perpetrator of the stabbing operation in Brussels is one of the soldiers of the Islamic State, and he carried out the operation in response to appeals to target countries of the [US-led] coalition".
- 2016 stabbing of Charleroi police officers
- 2016 stabbing of Brussels police officers
- June 2017 Brussels attack
- Islamic terrorism in Europe (2014–present)
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Both London and Brussels have been on edge after terrorist assaults in both cities.
- Pascale Davies. (29 August 2017). "'Uniforms a target' Belgian General says after Brussels stabbing" (Transcript). Reuters. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
1,200 soldiers patrol Belgium's main cities and the country is on its second highest threat level. Its security operation - known as 'operation vigilant guardian' was meant to be a temporary measure. But it is now entering its third year
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According to the bourgmestre of Bruges, Renaat Landuyt, Haashi Ayaanle had not been seen in his neighborhood of Bruges for four months. "There was no sign of radicalization on the part of the individual," Landuyt said.
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Ayaanle Haashi, the individual who attacked soldiers with a knife in Brussels on Friday night, was in contact via the internet with the Somali fundamentalist milieu
- "Bruxelles : l'assaillant était en contact avec des islamistes". La Capitale (in French). Retrieved 20 September 2017.
The name of the one who attacked three soldiers in the center of Brussels on the evening of Friday appears in the file of a Somali Islamic affiliate active in Europe.
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The soldiers did what they had to do," said Jambon. "It is the duty of the soldiers and the police to protect the citizens and the institutions, they have done that perfectly, at risk for their own body and members. My respect is enormous.
- European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2018 (TE SAT 2018) (PDF). Europol. 2018. p. 24. ISBN 978-92-95200-91-3. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2018.