Belgium police on Sunday released video footage of the gunman who shot and killed four people a day earlier in what appeared to be a premeditated attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
In the video, the suspect can be seen entering the museum carrying two heavy black bags from which he then pulls a Kalashnikov automatic rifle and opens fire. The man’s face is not clear in the footage as his head is covered by a gray cap.
An Israeli couple, a French woman and a Belgian man died in the deadly shooting, which has revived fears of a fresh wave of anti-Semitism in Europe. The Belgian national died of his wounds in hospital on Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels on Sunday, deputy prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said security officials were looking for a lone suspect in the lethal shooting. The suspect, she added, was “armed and well prepared.''
A day after the attack, there was no claim for the deadly shooting incident and Van Wymersch said she could not confirm if it was a terrorist or anti-Semitic attack. “All leads remain open,” she added.
Hollande declares attack ‘anti-Semitic’
However, French President François Hollande said he had no doubt about the “anti-Semitic character” of the attack in Brussels.
Hollande was speaking to reporters in the southern French city of Tulle, where he was casting his ballot in Sunday’s European Parliament elections.
Hollande’s view appeared to be echoed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who issued a statement condemning the attack and also pledging to work with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo to, “confront such bigotry across Europe.”
The Belgian prime minister himself immediately expressed support for the Jewish community. “All Belgians are united,” he said.
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who was in the vicinity of the attack on Saturday, said the scene “was terrible and left me shocked” as he saw two of the three dead lying at the entry of the museum, located in the touristy Sablon neighborhood.
Unable to confirm motive
Interior Ministry spokesperson Ingrid Van Daele said that that investigators were still on the scene gathering details, and that it was too soon to say whether it was an anti-Semitic attack.
However, Reynders said that “you cannot help to think that when we see a Jewish museum, you think of an anti-Semitic act. But the investigation will have to show the causes.”
Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur said police had a good lead for a suspect, but refused to elaborate due to the sensitivity of the case.
The attack, which came on the eve of national and European Parliament elections, led officials to raise anti-terror measures.
"We decided to apply to a maximum level of protection to Jewish sites,'' Home Affairs Minister Joëlle Milquet said.
"He came, he shot and he left,” Milquet added to FRANCE 24 Brussels correspondent Méabh McMahon
The museum is located in the heart of the Sablon district, which is home to the city's top antique dealers.
(FRANCE24 with REUTERS, AP, AFP)
Date created : 2014-05-25