The man who was shot dead at a Brussels train station Tuesday after attempting to explode a suitcase of nails and gas canisters was not known to authorities as a terror suspect, a Belgian prosecutor said today.
The would-be attacker — identified by the initials “O.Z.” — was of Moroccan origin, Brussels federal prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said at a news conference this morning. He said the 36-year-old man was not known to be involved in any terror activities, but the prosecutor did not comment on whether he had a criminal record.
The suspect entered Brussels Central Station in the Belgian capital at 8:39 p.m. local time holding a suitcase, Van der Sypt said. Five minutes later, his suitcase caught fire after a small explosion erupted. No one was injured.
The suspect then ran down a flight of stairs toward a train station employee and a soldier, Van der Sypt said. His suitcase exploded again.
As the suspect screamed “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, a soldier shot the man several times, killing him.
The federal prosecutor said the suspect was not wearing an explosive belt, contrary to initial reports, and that he was only carrying a suitcase that contained nails and several small gas canisters.
“It was clear he wanted to cause much more damage than what happened,” Van der Sypt told reporters. “The bag exploded twice but it could have been a lot worse.”
Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the suspect’s home in the Molenbeek district of Brussels was searched following the attack, and other raids there are underway.
Molenbeek has been the home base for a number of jihadist attackers, including the alleged mastermind behind the terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, that killed 130 people.
Brussels Central Station has reopened since shuttering Tuesday night in the aftermath of the incident.
Belgium’s terror level remains at three, signifying a serious and likely threat.
ABC News’ Benjamin Gittleson, Aicha El Hammar,…