Suspect in Belgian Jewish Museum shooting made video confession
The alleged French jihadist suspected of carrying out a shooting at a Belgian Jewish Museum in May has claimed responsibility for the attack in a video, prosecutors said on Sunday.
According to Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, the 29-year-old suspect Mehdi Nemmouche attempted to film the May 24 attack in Brussels that left three dead. His camera failed before the shooting, but there is video of the weapons used and his confession.
Authorities also said that Nemmouche had spent a year in Syria before the shooting, bolstering concerns about Europeans traveling to the country to fight President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Nemmouche is from the northern France.
“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the ‘returnees’ —in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”
The video evidence was uncovered in the Courtrai region of Belgium where the suspect had been living. Authorities are questioning two individuals there in connection to the case.
Nemmouche was arrested by police on Friday in the French town of Marseille after he arrived on a bus from Amsterdam. At the time of the arrest he had an automatic weapon in his possession similar to the one used in the attack. The weapon was wrapped with a sheet displaying the name of the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, which is fighting in Syria.
“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm,” French President Francois Hollande said during a visit to Normandy, referencing the hundreds of individuals who have gone to Syria to fight in the country’s ongoing civil war.
Hollande said the government would “fight” radicals returning home from Syria. He also said his administration would amplify efforts to keep young people from traveling to the country to fight.