News / Europe

Frenchman Arrested in Shooting at Brussels Jewish Museum

Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw discusses the arrest of a suspect in the killings at a Belgian Jewish museum at the Federal Prosecutor's office in Brussels, June 1, 2014.
Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw discusses the arrest of a suspect in the killings at a Belgian Jewish museum at the Federal Prosecutor's office in Brussels, June 1, 2014.
VOA News
A suspect has been arrested in France in connection with the May 24 shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that killed three people.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, a French citizen, was detained at a bus station in the southern French city of Marseille on Friday and had a Kalashnikov assault rifle and another gun with him, a French police source said on Sunday. Nemmouche was in possession of a Kalashnikov rifle and a handgun similar to the ones used in the attack on May 24, sources said.

An official with the prosecutor's office says the suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law, the AP reported.
 
A passer-by places flowers at the entrance of the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2014.A passer-by places flowers at the entrance of the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2014.
x
A passer-by places flowers at the entrance of the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2014.
A passer-by places flowers at the entrance of the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2014.

Nemmouche is originally from Roubaix in northern France and is believed to have traveled to Syria in 2013 to join Islamist fighters.

The shooting by a lone gunman killed three people outright - an Israeli couple and a Frenchwoman, while the fourth victim, a 24-year-old Belgian man, was left clinically dead.

Police had released explicit video of the attack, showing a gunman, whose face is not visible under a cap, entering the Jewish museum and taking a Kalashnikov from a bag and opening fire.

French media said Nemmouche was arrested as part of random, drug-related checks at Marseille's bus terminal. Local media also reported that he had in his bag press clippings about the Brussels Jewish museum shooting.

Soulifa Badaoui, who worked as a lawyer for the suspect in the past, told BFM TV Nemmouche was not religious at the time. Asked what role religion played for him then, she said: “None, this was absolutely not part of his personality, he was not observant at all.”

“For me, he was in no way a young man who seem pre-destined to commit this sort of act,” Badaoui said.

Motive behind attack

Anti-Semitism is strongly suspected as the motive behind the attack.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor praised  French and Belgian authorities for the arrest, saying there was a need to clamp down on the spread of hate crimes, especially by those hardened by bloodshed in places like Syria.

“ … For too long authorities in Europe have acted speedily after the fact. It is now time for all to turn attention and set as the highest priority the prevention of these vicious crimes,” he said in a statement.

Jewish community officials have drawn parallels between the Brussels shooting and the 2012 killing of four Jews at a school in France by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman, Mohamed Merah.

Security around all Jewish institutions in Belgium was raised to the highest level after the shooting, and French authorities also stepped up security after two Jews were attacked the same day as they left a synagogue in a Paris suburb wearing traditional Jewish clothing.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video Empire State Building Highlights Cecil the Lion

People gathered in streets and rooftops in Manhattan to see the image highlights that covered 33 floors of the building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: E Norton from: USA
June 01, 2014 12:29 PM
A rather misleading headline. When you read it, you wonder why a French person would bomb the museum. You have to read until you see the name "Mehdi Nemmouche" to understand that it was a "French citizen" but not a real Frenchman that did it. The same thing happened when Theo Van Gogh was murdered. Rather than saying outright that it was done by a Muslim, they originally said it was done by an Animal Rights activist. It was true that the murderer was an Animal Rights activist, but he murdered Van Gogh because he was a Muslim. Very misleading. Obviously some people want to cover up Muslim extremist violence.

by: Abe Manhattan from: New York
June 01, 2014 12:16 PM
He is clearly a Muslim. Why try and hide it?
From another french website: "During his last stay in jail he was noticed for extremist [Islamist] proselytism," Molins said.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs