Manhunt after Palestinian asylum seeker ‘threatens to die a martyr’

Belgian police are hunting a Palestinian asylum seeker who said he wants to “die as a martyr by explosion”.

The 23-year-old – known as Mohammed A – made the comments yesterday (Tuesday, October 24) after that hearing his entire family had been killed in Gaza.

Now all police units across Belgium are seeking the man who reportedly applied for asylum on September 26, reports MailOnline.

Mohammed A was told he had to turn up again the following day, but failed to do so.

A spokesperson for the Brussels public prosecutor’s office said: “The person of Palestinian origin is currently being actively traced.

READ MORE: ‘Lone wolf’ Brussels shooter identified as ‘radicalised’ years before attack

“In the interest of the investigation, no further comment will be made.”

The hunt for Mohammed A comes just a week after a Tunisian national identified in reports as Abdesalem Lassoued was suspected of having shot and killed two people while injuring a third in Brussels on Monday evening, just as a football match between Belgium and Sweden was about to kick-off.

The suspected assailant used an automatic rifle to carry out his attack before fleeing the scene on a scooter.

Hours later Belgian police officers located the suspect and shot him outside a cafe in the Schaerbeek area. Lassoued, aged 45, was taken to hospital by paramedics but died after reportedly suffering chest wounds.

He claimed responsibility for the attack in a video he filmed and shared on social media, in which he also pledged to be “from the Islamic State”.

In the clip, the Tunisian said his name was Abdesalem Al Guilani and claimed to have “killed three Swedes so far” as a “revenge in the name of Muslims”.

A number of details about the suspect’s life have emerged in the hours following his death.

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The Tunisian national reportedly reached the European continent in 2011, when he arrived on Italy’s Lampedusa island.

He was later moved to Sweden but was deported following a spell in prison, according to the Swedish migration agency.

The suspect is believed to have then returned to Italy, and in 2016 police in Bologna identified him as a “radicalised subject”, who was also monitored by intelligence services.

Lassoued then moved to Belgium, where in 2019 he saw his asylum request denied. He had self-professed links to ISIS and claimed to be “a fighter for Allah”.

This has sparked fears over a potential new wave of radicalisation triggered by the war between Israel and Hamas, which exploded on October 7 after the terror group launched an unprecedented attack on civilians.

The Belgian prosecutor’s office initially said there was no evidence this attack in Brussels was linked to the conflict.

But on Tuesday it said it had “established that he (Lassoued) has shared a number of expressions of support for the Palestinian people on his social media”.

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