On Thursday in Antwerp, Belgium, an apparent copycat terrorist trying to emulate Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London attempted to run over innocents in a busy shopping area on De Meir, Antwerp’s main shopping street.
The Belgian police named the assailant, stating: “The suspect is Mohamed R., born on May 8, 1977, of French nationality and a resident of France.” Antwerp police chief Serge Muyters said the suspect, 39, was carrying weapons and was detained. He is a French national of North-African descent. Muyters added, “The vehicle was driving at high speed on De Meir. Our army colleagues spotted it and tried to bring the vehicle to a halt. But the driver broke free and drove through the red light towards the port quays.”
According to the prosecutor’s statement, “Different arms were found in the boot – bladed weapons, a riot gun and a container of liquid that is still unidentifiable.”
A police spokesman added, “A man in camouflage was taken away. According to eyewitnesses, many people had to jump out of the way of the speeding car.
French President Francois Hollande said the incident was “an attempted terrorist attack . . . He was looking to kill people and to cause something dramatic.”