(Brussels) The man who stabbed a policeman to death on Thursday evening in Brussels is a former detainee for common law offenses but who was on file with the Belgian terrorist threat analysis body (OCAM), announced on Friday the federal prosecutor’s office.
This suspect, presented as “Yassine M., born in 1990 in Brussels, of Belgian nationality”, shouted “Allah Akbar” while attacking armed with a knife two police officers in their car stopped at a red light, a- we said from the same source.
One of the two police officers, Thomas M., 29, hit “at the height of the throat” did not survive, while the other, injured in the right arm, “was operated on last night” and “seems out of danger”, underlined the federal parquet floor during a press conference.
An investigating judge was seized of an investigation for “assassination and attempted assassination committed in a terrorist context”.
The assailant, the target of shots during the intervention of another police patrol called in for reinforcement, was “wounded by bullets” and hospitalized.
The facts occurred around 7.15 p.m. on Thursday in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek, in the Gare du Nord district.
In particular, the investigation will have to look into the possible psychiatric history of the suspect.
The Brussels prosecutor Tim De Wolf said that Thursday morning Yassine M. had presented himself at a Brussels police station “making incoherent remarks”.
“He was talking about hatred against the police and asking for psychological support,” he added.
“At the request of the magistrate on duty”, the suspect was then taken by police officers to the psychiatric emergency room of a Brussels hospital, but without deprivation of liberty because he did not meet the legal criteria for compulsory confinement, a we explained. “He was voluntary.”
According to the prosecutor, the police patrol left the hospital after ensuring that Yassine M. was well cared for by nurses.
“Later, the police contacted the hospital again to check whether the person had been kept under observation. It turned out that she had left the hospital”, still according to the Brussels prosecutor’s office.
Yassine M., who had been imprisoned “between 2013 and 2019” for “common law acts”, “is on the list drawn up by OCAM”, which identifies radicalized individuals deemed dangerous, we also learned on Friday.