The Islamic State group on Sunday claimed responsibility for a weekend machete attack that wounded two policewomen in the Belgian city of Charleroi, calling it an act of reprisal carried out by one of its “soldiers.”
Belgian prosecutors identified the machete-wielding assailant as a 33-year-old Algerian known to police for criminal offenses, but not for extremist acts.
The attack on Saturday afternoon is being treated as a terrorist incident, notably because the man shouted “Allahu akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great” — as he slashed at the officers outside Charleroi’s main police station, Prime Minister Charles Michel said.
The assailant, shot by a third officer, died later in a hospital. A statement by the IS-affiliated Aamaq News Agency, posted Sunday on an IS-linked Twitter account, said the attack on the policewomen was in response to the “Crusader coalition’s” military campaign against IS and its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.