Threat level for Brussels lowered after shooting suspect's death-Xinhua

Threat level for Brussels lowered after shooting suspect's death

Source: Xinhua| 2023-10-18 03:58:00|Editor: huaxia

BRUSSELS, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The security threat in Brussels was reduced from the maximum level four to three on Tuesday, after the suspect in Monday's killing of two Swedish football fans was shot dead by police.

Belgium's National Security Council reduced the threat level after a meeting with security authorities here on Tuesday afternoon, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a press conference.

On Monday evening, two Swedish soccer fans were killed in a shooting 5 km away from Belgium's King Baudouin Stadium, where a match between the Belgian and Swedish teams was taking place. The attack led to the suspension of the match, and prompted the city to raise its alert level, as well as increasing security measures in places connected to the Swedish community.

The shooter has been identified as a 45-year-old man of Tunisian origin, who was shot dead on Tuesday morning after a night-long manhunt by police in the Belgian capital.

"Following the OCAD (the threat coordination body)'s threat analysis, level four was determined yesterday evening for the Brussels Capital Region and level three as general threat level for Belgium. Since the perpetrator has since died and there are no indications that he had accomplices, it was decided to lower the threat level," Belgium Crisis Center said on its website.

Level three is now in place for the entire country.

"The imminent nature of the threat is no longer there," said De Croo, although he called on the public to remain vigilant.

At the press conference, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said on behalf of the Security Council that there were currently no indications that the perpetrator belonged to a network.

Moreover, the shooter had applied for asylum in Belgium in November 2019, but was rejected in October 2020. Since then, he had been living in the country illegally.

The Security Council also said that the man was not known to authorities for violent extremism, or on the terrorism list.