Authorities Believe Gunman in Brussels Shooting was Inspired by ISIS


October 18, 2023


The attack took place three miles from a Belgium qualifying match for Euro 2024.

Police cordon off the area where the shooting took place in Brussels. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu/Getty Images


By Aicha El Hammar Castano, Jon Haworth, Ellie Kaufman, and Jolie Lash | ABC News


LONDON – Authorities suspect the Tunisian man, accused of killing two Swedish soccer fans in a brazen shooting in Brussels Monday night, was likely inspired by ISIS, U.S. officials briefed on the situation told ABC News.

In what Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo called an “act of terrorism” on Tuesday, the attack took place approximately three miles from the Roi Baudouin stadium, where Belgium was playing Sweden to qualify for the Euro 2024 football tournament. Authorities confirmed early Tuesday that 45-year-old Abdesalem Lassoued, the suspected attacker, was shot and killed by the police in the neighborhood of Schaerbeek in downtown Brussels the following morning.

According to the preliminary information from U.S. officials, the suspect was denied asylum in Belgium in 2019. They said authorities believe the suspect’s motive was ISIS-related based on open-source social media postings. Officials said Lassoued recorded a video of himself talking about targeting Swedish people and that he conducted the attack for ISIS. The probe remains ongoing, U.S. officials said.

Following Monday night’s attack, which led to the suspension of the soccer match, Belgium’s interior minister announced stricter border controls along Belgian borders while the suspect was still at large.