A Timeline of Recent Islamist Attacks in Belgium
The recent history of Islamist attacks in Belgium starting from May 2014.
Following Tuesday’s Islamic State attacks in Brussels, below is a timeline of Belgium’s recent history of Islamist violence, and related police and judicial actions:
May 24, 2014 - Four people killed in a shooting at the Jewish Museum in central Brussels. The attacker, a French national Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, was subsequently arrested in Marseille, France. Extradited, he is awaiting trial in Belgium.
Sept. 29, 2014 - Belgian prosecutors accuse 46 members of Islamist group Sharia4Belgium of belonging to a terrorist organisation and brainwashing young men in Belgium into fighting a holy war in Syria. Convictions were handed down in Feb. 2015.
Jan. 15, 2015 - A week after the Islamist attacks in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish grocery, Belgian police kill two men who opened fire on them during one of about a dozen raids against an Islamist group that, federal prosecutors said, was about to launch “terrorist attacks on a grand scale”.
Aug. 21 2015 - A 25-year-old Moroccan man, Ayoub El Khazzani, wounds three people on a high-speed Thalys train in northern France before being overpowered by passengers who included a US soldier. He boarded in Brussels.
Nov. 13, 2015 - Paris is rocked by multiple, near simultaneous gun and bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city, in which 130 people die and 368 are wounded. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others, while of French nationality, lived in Brussels.
Nov. 14, 2015 - A French national living in Belgium, Salah Abdeslam, 26, who was among the Paris attackers, calls his friends in Brussels to pick him up by car from Paris after he changed his mind and did not blow himself up. His bomb vest was later found by the police in a rubbish bin in a Paris suburb. Abdeslam gets out of the car in Brussels and disappears.
March 15, 2016 - Belgian police kill a gunman after several officers were wounded in a raid on a Brussels apartment linked to the investigation into the Paris attacks. Two other suspects escape. A search of the apartment reveals the fingerprints of Salah Abdeslam, the last known living participant of the Paris attacks, indicating the fugitive was in Brussels.
March 18, 2016 - Belgian police arrest Abdeslam, by then Europe’s most wanted man, after a shootout in Brussels. Belgian interior and foreign ministers warn on March 20 and 21 that the authorities suspect Abdeslam and his accomplices were planning an imminent attack.
March 22, 2016 - Brussels becomes the target of Islamist attacks with at least 30 people killed in bomb explosions at the airport and in the metro. One of the blasts is a suicide attack. Belgian media publish a security camera picture of three men they say police suspect of carrying out the bombings at Brussels airport earlier that day. Their identities are unknown. There is no indication of who carried out the attack on the metro.
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