The attack occurred three miles from Belgium’s Euro 2024 qualifying match.
LONDON — Authorities suspect that the Tunisian man accused of killing two Swedish soccer fans in a shooting incident in Brussels Monday night was likely inspired by the Islamic State, U.S. officials familiar with the situation told ABC News.
In what Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo described as an “act of terrorism” on Tuesday, the attack occurred about three miles from the Roy Baudouin Stadium, where Belgium was playing against Sweden to qualify for the 2024 European Football Championship. Authorities confirmed early Tuesday that 45-year-old Abdeslam Aswad, the suspected attacker, was shot dead by police in the Schaerbeek neighborhood of central Brussels the next morning.
According to preliminary information from US officials, the suspect was denied asylum in Belgium in 2019. They said authorities believe the suspect’s motive is linked to ISIS based on open source posts on social media. Officials said that Al-Aswad recorded a video of himself talking about targeting the Swedes and that he carried out the attack on behalf of ISIS. US officials said the investigation is still ongoing.
Following Monday night’s attack, which led to the suspension of the football match, the Belgian Interior Minister announced tightened border controls along the Belgian border while the suspect was still at large.
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