MOHAMMED R, 39, a MUSLIM French national of Tunisian origin, wearing military-style clothing, was driving at high speed, trying to run down people in a busy shopping area of Antwerp, one year after the last major terrorist attack in Belgium.
The Sun Police in the Belgian capital reportedly foiled the plot and detained the man who was carrying weapons, after he ran a through a red traffic light, Antwerp police chief Serge Muyters said. The man was arrested on Thursday after he tried to drive into a crowd at high-speed in a shopping area in the port city, a police spokesman said.
“The suspect is Mohamed R., born on May 8, 1977 and a resident of France,” the statement said. Police have confirmed the suspect was carrying knives, a rifle and a gas can with an unknown liquid at the time of the arrest.
Eyewitnesses said they saw many terrified people being forced to jump out of the way as the speed of the car increased.
The failed attack comes less than 24 hours after the depraved assault in central where an ISIS-linked Muslim knifeman mowed people down with a car. The Belgian incident also comes after the first anniversary of the Brussels’ bomb attacks also by Muslims which claimed the lives of thirty-two innocent people.
The Antwerp plot was foiled when the car was stopped as it jumped a red light, and a safety perimeter established around it immediately, said a local police source.
The driver sped off after Belgian soldiers, who have been deployed around the country to assist the counter-terrorism fight, tried to stop the car. “A short while later, a rapid intervention force from Antwerp police was able to stop the car,” the statement said.