2017 Antwerp attack

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On March 23, 2017, a man drove his car at high speed through the main shopping street in Antwerp, Belgium, causing people to jump out of the way.[1] Police arrested the man, who was identified as 39-year-old "Mohamed R.", a North African-born Tunisian who was living in France.[1] Sources say that the man was under the influence of an unidentified substance.[2]

Events[edit]

The car was seen driving at high speed along the Meir shopping street at 11:00 (10:00 GMT) and soldiers attempted to stop it. The driver evaded them, but the police sent a rapid response team, which arrested the man. Some bladed weapons were found in the boot of the car, along with a riot gun and a container of unidentified liquid. An army bomb disposal unit was sent to inspect the vehicle.[1]

After the suspect's arrest, the federal prosecutor's office took the lead in the case.[3] On March 24, 2017, "Mohamed R." was charged with "an attempt to murder in a terrorist manner, an attempt to hit and wound in a terrorist manner and arms infractions".[4][5][6]

Suspect[edit]

Suspect, identified only as Mohammad R. (39), is a French national born in Tunisia and residing in France.[1][7] His car was found to contain knives and a shotgun.[8]

Aftermath[edit]

The attack was one of a growing number of Islamist vehicle-ramming attacks, including the 2017 Westminster attack, which occurred only a day earlier; the 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack that killed twelve; and the 2016 Nice attack that killed 86.[9][5][10] Like the similarly increasingly common use of terrorist stabbing attacks, vehicle-ramming attacks are simple to carry out and extremely difficult for security services to prevent.[10][9][11]

See also[edit]

  • List of terrorist incidents in March 2017
  • Vehicle-ramming attack

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Man held for 'driving at crowd' in Antwerp, Belgium". BBC. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  2. "Belgium driver on terrorism charge over Antwerp 'attack'". BBC News.
  3. "Man in Antwerp, Belgium, Tries to Drive Into Crowd". New York Times. March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  4. "Authorities file terror charges against Antwerp driver". Washington Post. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Belgium driver on terrorism charge over Antwerp 'attack'". BBC. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. "Antwerp Driver Charged". The Hindu. AP. 25 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. Brunsden, Jim (23 March 2017). "Possible terrorist suspect arrested in Antwerp: Belgian state media". Fiinancial Times.
  8. "Belgian police find 'knives and shotgun' in car after man tries to drive into crowd in Antwerp". The Telegraph. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Maher, Richard (29 March 2017). "To better fight terrorism, Europe needs more cooperation and money". Business Standard. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Gertz, Bill (29 March 2017). "London Attack Spotlights ISIS Use of Vehicle Ramming". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  11. Theodore Dalrymple (26 March 2017). "How Serious Is the Terrorist Threat?". City Journal. Retrieved 4 April 2017.

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