Islamic State Says Brussels Attacker Belonged to Militant Group

Belgian prosecutors have opened a probe into assault; suspect, who was shot dead, carried a fake firearm and copies of the Koran

Belgian police officers and soldiers stand at the scene of the knife attack in Brussels, August 25, 2017.
Belgian police officers and soldiers stand at the scene of the knife attack in Brussels, August 25, 2017. SOCIAL MEDIA/REUTERS

The Islamic State news agency Aamaq has claimed the Brussels attacker who assaulted three soldiers with a knife as an Islamic State group soldier.

In a statement Sunday, it said he carried out the Friday evening attack in response to calls to target countries of the coalition that is fighting ISIS.

Belgian prosecutors have opened an attempted terrorist murder probe after attacker assaulted the soldiers while shouting "Allahu akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great." He was shot dead by troops.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office said the man was known to police for assault charges but had no previous terror-related offenses. The suspect, a Belgian citizen of Somali origin, was also carrying a fake firearm and copies of the Koran.

ISIS often claims attacks by people who have no known link to the group.