BELGIUM – A man identified as Benjamin Herman shot and killed three people, including two policemen on Tuesday morning, 29 May, in Liège , eastern Belgium, before taking a hostage and being shot dead by police forces. order, a shooting that has the appearance of a terrorist act according to Belgian justice.The file has been entrusted to the federal prosecutor, responsible for terrorism. “There are elements that go in the direction of a terrorist act”, justified Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman of the federal prosecutor’s office.
After firing on the public highway, the 36-year-old assailant fled to a high school. A brief hostage ensued, during which no one was injured, according to official sources.
The three victims of the shooter are two policewomen and “the passenger of a vehicle” parked in the neighborhood. “We do not know anything yet,” the motivation of the assailant, had initially explained Catherine Collignon, spokesman of the prosecutor’s office in Liege, without being able to confirm the press information that he shouted “Allah Akbar “.
A radicalized and violent prisoner
The attacker was known for common law crimes (theft and petty crime). He had a profile of delinquent and was listed for his contacts with Islamists, said a source close to the investigation at AFP. Recently imprisoned in the prison of Marche-en-Famenne, in Wallonia (southern Belgium), it is on the occasion of an exit permission to prepare for his reintegration that he took action on Tuesday morning , according to the Belgian media.
According to the president of the Belgian Senate, he could also be involved in a murder during the night from Monday to Tuesday:
“The aim of the assassin was to attack the police,” said the head of police in Liège Tuesday afternoon. Belgium, hit by jihadist attacks that left 32 dead on March 22, 2016, has since been the scene of several attacks against soldiers or police officers.