Even though the huge attacks like the November 2015 series in Paris that killed 130 have not returned, a different way to spread terror has come.
Federal prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said soldiers “neutralized” a suspect at the Central Station immediately after a small explosion there on Tuesday night and “we do not know if the man is still alive or that he is dead”.
The passenger approached a group of around passengers at the station before grabbing his suitcase and causing a “partial explosion”, Van Der Sypt said.
Pierre Meys, a fire service spokesman, told RTL that some kind of explosion has happened in the station, but it is unclear what caused the blast.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters that a “terrorist attack had been averted” – and said extra measures were being taken to protect stations, public places and major events.
As the attacker screamed “Allahu Akbar“, or “God is great”, in Arabic, a soldier shot the suspect several times, killing him.
Soldiers have been deployed at railway stations and landmark buildings in Belgium since the Paris terror attacks when a link to Brussels was first established.
A bag found at the scene of a foiled terrorist attack in Brussels contained gas canisters and nails, according to a Belgian prosecutor.
According to ABC News, the bomber “lay still for several hours” while bomb squad officers checked if he was armed with further explosives. No one else was hurt. Visitors and residents out enjoying a hot summer’s evening on the ornate Renaissance town square, the Grand Place, close to Central Station were cleared quickly away by police.
In March of past year, attacks on the Brussels airport and on the city’s metro system killed 32 people.
The prosecutor confirmed that the attacker was not wearing a suicide vest. He refused to provide details or to identify the suspect.
Brussels has been on high alert for more than 18 months after it emerged the Islamic State militants who carried out attacks in Paris, killing 130 people in November 2015, were based in Brussels, and the fact that the city’s airport and metro in March previous year, claiming 32 victims.
Jambon told VRT broadcaster that it is important to address security concerns but avoid over-reacting.
The criminal case is initiated as “an attempt of terrorism murder”, Van der Sypt noted, adding that a counterterrorism investigator was carrying out the probe.
Mr Jambon said the security will remain high at Brussels rain facilities, which means there is a serious and likely threat.