The man who attempted to hit pedestrians in the Belgian city of Antwerp was charged with terrorist murder attempt, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said Friday.
On Thursday, Belgian police tried to chase a car speeding toward a shopping area in Antwerp in the Belgian region of Flanders. The police managed to stop the car and arrest the driver. Arms and illegal substances were found in the car, which turned out to be registered in France. The city’s mayor Bart De Wever said that a terrorist attack was prevented.
“The judicial investigator of Antwerp charged Mohamed R., a French citizen born on May 8, 1977, and a citizen of Tunisia with attempted murder of a terrorist nature, an attempt to hit and wound in a terrorist manner and violation of arms legislation,” the statement read.
The driver, who reportedly is a drug-user, was previously arrested for attempted theft by Belgian authorities. He was also ordered to leave both the Netherlands and Belgium, the RTL broadcaster reported.
According to the broadcaster, the Flemish opposition criticized the mayor of Antwerp for exacerbating the situation after he said that the incident was a terrorist attack, although the driver’s previous criminal activities does not imply his intention to commit terrorist acts.