In a shocking case of Islamic fanaticism, a groomed Islamist with suspected ISIS links has killed as many as two Swedish nations to avenge the burning of the Quran in the country. He called himself a soldier of Allah and posted a video after the attack. On October 17, the police arrested him following an encounter. Brussels have called this an act of terrorism.
As per the media reports, a video featuring the accused man identified as Abdesalem Al Guilani started making rounds of the internet where he boasts about killing two Swedish nationals as a service of Allah.
In the video, he said, “Greeting Allahu Akbar. My name is Abdesalem Al Guilani and I am a fighter for Allah. I am from the Islamic State. 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 Alhamdulillah.”
This is the Islamist terrorist who just killed at least three people in #Brussels.
‘I am a fighter for Allah. We live for our religion and we die for our religion. Your brother took revenge in the name of Muslims. I have killed 3 Swedes so far’. pic.twitter.com/3xaXPZ4Nip
— Paul Golding (@GoldingBF) October 16, 2023
He attacked the victims as they were wearing the Swedish national team’s football shirts. Following the incident, the Belgian team refused to play the second half of the match. For some time, around 35,000 fans that were present at the stadium were asked to remain inside for safety. Later, the authorities evacuated them.
In a statement, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said, “Europe has been shaken.”
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo offered his condolences and said, “Sincere condolences to the Swedish PM following tonight’s harrowing attack on Swedish citizens in Brussels”. “Our thoughts are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. As close partners, the fight against terrorism is a joint one,” he added.
Notably, the Islamist also said he was motivated by the killing of a 6-year-old Muslim boy in Illinois, who was stabbed to death by his landlord, allegedly because of his religion. The boy’s mother was also seriously injured in the attack. The landlord, 71-year-old Joseph M. Czuba, was arrested and charged with murder and hate crimes. He was denied bail at his initial court appearance on October 16.
“They called it a brutal crime because he was a Muslim,” Al Guilani wrote on X, according to a Belgian media outlet.
“If the murdered were a Christian and the murderer was a Muslim, the subject would have been terrorism.”
The shooting took place near the centre of Brussels, where Belgium was hosting Sweden in a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying match. The victims were wearing Swedish football shirts, according to Sky Sports.
The match was halted at halftime due to the “suspected terrorist attack,” UEFA said on X.
🚨Breaking News 🚨
The terrorist in Brussels may have struck again killing 2 more people. It’s suggested it’s Tunisian Slayem Slouma who previously shot dead 2 Swedish football fans.
He claims to belong to ISIS & boasted of having killed kafirs.
Needs further verification. pic.twitter.com/Qpz7yLRiAz
— David Atherton (@DaveAtherton20) October 16, 2023
On 17th October, the Belgian authorities informed media that they had arrested the suspect who carried out the Brussels terror attack killing two Swedish football fans and injuring a third individual. A spokesman for the federal prosecutors’ service said, “Belgian police on Tuesday arrested a man suspected of having gunned down two Swedish football fans in an attack in Brussels.”
Speaking with AFP, Spokesman Eric Van Duyse added that officers “opened fire” as they apprehended the man in the Schaerbeek area of the city. However, Duyse did not specify if the suspect was wounded. Citing local media reports, several social media handles have claimed that the ISIS terrorist succumbed to bullet wounds, however, the veracity could not be ascertained as authorities have not specified whether he got fatally wounded during a manhunt launched after the terrorist attack.
According to BBC reports, in the Schaerbeek neighborhood, Brussels police engaged a man in a café, as mentioned by local media. Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden remarked that the individual shot was highly likely to be the suspected perpetrator. Additionally, as reported by Flemish public broadcaster VRT, Verlinden stated that the automatic weapon discovered on the individual matched the one employed in the attack that took place on Monday.
Earlier, Van Duyse asserted that the murder investigation was centering on “a possible terrorist motivation for the shooting” after “a claim of responsibility was posted on social media.”
Van Duyse said, “This person claims to be inspired by Islamic State. The Swedish nationality of the victims was put forward as the probable motive.”
Sweden has faced backlash from some Muslims in recent months, after several anti-Muslim and right-wing activists have held public burnings of the Quran with police permission.
In July, a mob of demonstrators forcefully entered the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, setting it ablaze. This event preceded a scheduled Quran burning outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm.
In response, Iraq severed its diplomatic relations with Sweden, expelling the Swedish ambassador, recalling its own envoy from Sweden, and suspending the operational permit of the Swedish company, Ericsson, in Iraq.
Sweden’s Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, expressed condemnation for the Quran burnings, acknowledging their legality while deeming them highly inappropriate.