Update: When I posted this story Saturday there was still no claim of responsibility and authorities were not 100% certain it was terrorism, though they were definitely leaning that way. Today, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and authorities seem confident the attacker had a terrorist motive. From Reuters:
Islamic State claimed responsibility on Sunday for an attack by a machete-wielding man in Belgium that left two female police officers seriously injured, the group’s Amaq news agency said on Twitter.
Shortly before the claim, Belgian prosecutors had identified the assailant as a 33-year-old Algerian, K.B., who had lived in Belgium since 2012, saying that he may have been inspired by terrorism…
“There are indications that the attack may have been inspired by a terrorist motive,” the prosecutors said in a statement. “He is known to police for criminal acts, not for terrorism.”
This isn’t a surprise but now it has been officially confirmed.
It hasn’t been officially confirmed yet but it certainly looks as if there has been another Islamic terror attack in Belgium. From the Associated Press:
Two female officers were attacked and wounded by a man wielding a machete and shouting “Allahu Akhbar” outside the main police station in the Belgian city of Charleroi on Saturday, police said.
The assailant was shot by a third officer and later died of his wounds, authorities said. The attacker’s identity and motive were not immediately known, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, but added the “first indications” suggested it was an act of terrorism.
The Telegraph has a bit more detail on the attack:
One of the policewomen suffered severe face wounds when the assailant slashed her several times. She was being treated in hospital last night but her injuries were not described as life-threatening.
Her colleague was less seriously injured.
The attacker arrived at a checkpoint outside the police station just before 4 pm local time and immediately took a machete out of his bag before lunging at the officer, and repeatedly hacking at her head, witnesses said.
Belgium’s Prime Minister condemned the attack on Twitter: “I condemn the attack in Charleroi with force. Thoughts go to the victims, their relatives and police. We are following the situation closely.”
Je condamne l'attaque à Charleroi avec force. Pensées vont aux victimes, leurs proches et les policiers. Nous suivons la situation de près.
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) August 6, 2016
Belgium is still on elevated alert after the coordinated bombing attack in Brussels which killed 32 people, including four Americans, in March. In June, Belgian police arrested 40 people in raids and announced that they had prevented a planned terror attack on soccer fans.