The perpetrator, who was shot dead by police forces patrolling the Central Station, was a 36-year-old from Molenbeek with a Moroccan passport, named Oussama Zariouh, the spokesman of the federal judicial authorities Eric Van der Sypt (picture below) told a press conference.
The man lived in a residential area in Molenbeek, and was not on a list of possibly dangerous terrorists or people who could adopt radicalist ideas.
Van der Sypt also supplied more details on the attack itself. In order to make as many victims as possible, the man first went down the stairs from the main hall, to take place among a group of passengers consulting the timetables. "At the bottom of the stairs he started shouting, after which his bomb was partly detonated. Nobody sustained injuries."
"Suitcase was filled with nails and gas canisters"
"His suitcase caught fire and he abandoned it," Van der Sypt continued. The man went down the stairs leading to the platforms when there was a second blast - this time a bigger explosion. The trolley was apparently filled with nails and small gas canisters. "After the second explosion, the man went back up straight towards a soldier shouting 'Allahu Akbar'".
The soldier opened fire and hit the attacker several times. The man died on the spot. Van der Sypt added that "I want to underline that he was not carrying a belt with explosives."
Last night, the police raided the man's house in Molenbeek to carry out a house search. No further details have been released on this matter.