Who Is Abdesalem Lassoued? Brussels Attacker Posted Chilling Message on Facebook after Killing Two as He Is Caught on Camera Fleeing Scene [WATCH]

He claimed that his actions were in retaliation for the death of a six-year-old US-Palestinian boy.

  • Updated

Brussels is on high alert after a gunman claimed to be inspired by Islamic State (ISIS) shot dead two Swedes in the city center, federal prosecutors said. Belgian authorities have launched a massive manhunt across the city for the gunman identified as Abdesalem Lassoued who fled the scene after the deadly attack.

Disturbing footage captured by witnesses appears to show the assailant on a motorcycle targeting and shooting people in public. Other images circulating on the internet show a victim's body inside a taxi. Dramatic video later appeared to show Lassoued in a vibrant orange jacket fleeing from the scene on a motorcycle, with a bystander following closely in pursuit.

Killed in Revenge

Abdesalem Lassoued
Abdesalem Lassoued a 45-year-old of Tunisian heritage, used the alias 'Slayem Slouma' to proudly announce the two killings on Facebook. X

The gunman opened fire on a taxi carrying a group of Swedish football supporters as they traveled along Boulevard d'Ypres, a short distance north of Brussels' renowned Grand Place. This incident occurred shortly before Belgium's Euro 2024 qualifier against Sweden. However, the match was abandoned at half-time and the crowd was instructed to stay inside the stadium.

In the aftermath of the attack, the alleged gunman, identified by local media as Abdesalem Lassoued, a 45-year-old of Tunisian heritage, used the alias 'Slayem Slouma' to proudly announce the two killings on Facebook.

He claimed that his actions were in retaliation for the death of a six-year-old US-Palestinian boy. Speaking in Arabic, he celebrated the act and declared it was carried out in the name of ISIS.

The shooter, seen in the video wearing distinctive clothing - an orange jacket, black scarf, yellow baseball hat, and a heavy black beard - is still evading capture, according to the police who confirmed his identity and connection to the attack.

Abdesalem Lassoued
Abdesalem Lassoued seen fleeing the scene after indiscriminately firing and killing two Swedes in Brussels X

The city of Brussels has elevated its terror alert to level 4, the highest level.

Eric Van Duyse, the spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, urged the public to "Go home and stay at home as long as the threat has not been eradicated."

He emphasized that the ongoing investigation is focusing on "a possible terrorist motivation for the shooting' after 'a claim of responsibility was posted on social media."

"This person claims to be inspired by Islamic State," Van Duyse said. "The Swedish nationality of the victims was put forward as the probable motive."

Terrorist Attack in Revenge

The alleged attacker is said to have indicated that his actions were in retaliation for the fatal stabbing of six-year-old US-Palestinian boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was tragically killed in Plainfield, Illinois, on Saturday morning.

Abdesalem Lassoued
Abdesalem Lassoued seen opening fire on a street in Brussels X

Wadea Al-Fayoume endured a horrifying attack, suffering 26 stab wounds, while his mother, Hanaan Shahin, was subjected to over a dozen stabbings. The killer, identified as Joseph Czuba, 71, allegedly screamed "You Muslims must die!" during the brutal attack. Czuba faces charges of murder in connection with the tragic death of the young boy.

Lassoued's attack is being treated as a terror attack. According to The Telegraph, Lassoued is of Tunisian origin and has been living in Belgium legally.

Hours before the shooting, he used the name Slayem Slouma and shared a post on Facebook saying that the attack was in revenge for Wadea's murder. If the boy was Christian "it would have been called terrorism and not a brutal crime," he wrote.

Following the shooting, he recorded a video saying, "Islamic greeting Allahu Akbar. My name is Abdesalem Al Guilani and I am a fighter for Allah. I am from the Islamic State. We love who loves us and we hate who hates us.

"We live for our religion and we die for our religion. Alhamdulah. Your brother took revenge in the name of Muslims. I have killed three Swedes so far Al hamdoulelah. Three Swedish, yes. Those to whom I have done something wrong, may they forgive me. And I forgive everyone. Salam Aleykoum."

The Swedish victims, dressed in their national team's jerseys, were on their way to a match at King Baudouin Stadium, where Sweden was scheduled to play against Belgium. Two supporters were killed in the attack, while a third person suffered severe injuries.

Abdesalem Lassoued
Abdesalem Lassoued X

The match between Belgium and Sweden was ultimately called off. Players and fans were confined within the stadium as a precautionary measure. The decision to abandon the match was made after the players collectively expressed their unwillingness to continue, deeply affected by the tragic incident.

Abdesalem Lassoued
One of Abdesalem Lassoued's victims seen inside a cab X

A UEFA spokesperson said: "Following a suspected terrorist attack in Brussels this evening, it has been decided, after consultation with the two teams and the local police authorities, that the qualifying match between Belgium and Sweden is abandoned.

"Further communication will be made in due course."

In response to the incident in Brussels, the OCAD anti-terror center raised the terror alert for the entire country to its second-highest level, signifying an escalated state of vigilance and security measures across Belgium.