Brussels attacker identified as 36-year-old Moroccan likely made bomb at home, prosecutor says

The man was shot dead after carrying an explosive suitcase to a train station.

ByABC News
June 21, 2017, 9:31 AM

— -- The suspect in Tuesday night's attempted bombing at a Brussels train station likely made the explosive at home, according to Belgium's federal prosecutor.

At a news conference Wednesday, Belgian Federal Prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said possible chemical substances and materials that could be used to make explosives were found during a search at the man's residence in the Molenbeek district of Brussels.

There are also indications that the would-be attacker, who was shot during an incident by a Belgian soldier at the railway station, was a sympathizer of ISIS, Van der Sypt said.

At an earlier news conference, Van der Sypt said the 36-year-old Moroccan national -- identified by the initials "O.Z." -- was not known to be involved in any terror activities. The prosecutor did not comment on whether he had a criminal record.

The suspect entered Brussels Central Station in the Belgian capital Tuesday night at 8:39 p.m. local time holding a suitcase, according to Van der Sypt. Five minutes later, his suitcase caught fire after a small explosion erupted. No one was injured.

The suspect then ran down a flight of stairs toward a train station employee and a soldier. His suitcase exploded again, Van der Sypt said.

As the suspect screamed "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great" in Arabic, a soldier shot the man several times, killing him.

According to the federal prosecutor, the suspect was not wearing an explosive belt, contrary to initial reports, and he was only carrying a suitcase that contained nails and several small gas canisters.

"It was clear he wanted to cause much more damage than what happened," Van der Sypt told reporters Wednesday. "The bag exploded twice but it could have been a lot worse."

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the suspect's home in Molenbeek was searched following the attack, and other raids in the area are underway.

Molenbeek has been the home base for a number of jihadist attackers, including the alleged mastermind behind the terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, that killed 130 people.

Brussels Central Station has reopened since shuttering Tuesday night in the aftermath of the incident.

Belgium's terror level remains at three, signifying a serious and likely threat.

ABC News’ Benjamin Gittleson, Aicha El Hammar, Angus Hines, Joshua Hoyos, Aaron Katersky, Josh Margolin, Lena Masri and Joseph Simonetti contributed to this report.

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