Belgium arsonist charged with terror

Belgium arsonist charged with terror

BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
A man suspected of setting fire to a Brussels mosque, killing an imam, has been charged with a terrorism offence, Belgium’s Belga news agency reported March17, quoting prosecutors.

The man had originally been charged with causing death by arson, with the aggravating factor that the attack was religiously inspired.

An additional charge of committing a terrorist offence had been added Friday, based on what the suspect had said during his interrogations, Belga quoted prosecution spokesman Jean-Marc Meilleur as saying. Meilleur said March 13, the day after the attack, that the man, a self-described Sunni Muslim in his mid-30s, had told investigators he had sought to “scare” the Shiite community, which he held responsible for Syria’s crackdown on dissent.

Under questioning the man said “he was shocked by the pictures of what was going on in Syria and wanted to do something to scare members of the community which was responsible” for the violence, Meilleur told the press. 

The man told investigators he had acted alone and decided to carry out the attack two weeks ago but had had no intention to kill.