A Moroccan national attempted to detonate a bomb at the Brussels Central Station on Tuesday before police shot him dead. (AP)
The man who attempted to detonate a nail bomb at a Brussels train station and shouted “Allahu akbar” on Tuesday has been identified by Belgian authorities as a 36-year-old Moroccan national.
Eric Van der Sypt, Belgium’s federal magistrate, said the man, who has not been named, was not known to authorities for being involved in terror activities and he did not say if he had a criminal record.
BRUSSELS TRAIN STATION EXPLOSION BEING TREATED AS TERROR ATTACK, SUSPECT DEAD, OFFICIALS SAY
The man charged soldiers at Brussels Central Station on Tuesday after his suitcase, containing nails and gas canisters, failed to fully explode, Van der Sypt said.
The alleged attacker then shouted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before soldiers shot him dead, the magistrate said. Nobody else was injured.
Belgian soldiers shot the suspected attacker dead on Tuesday at Brussels Central Station after he attempted to detonate a nail bomb at the station.
"It was clear he wanted to cause much more damage than what happened," Van der Sypt said. "The bag exploded twice but it could have been a lot worse."
Earlier reports said the man was wearing an explosive belt, but Van der Sypt said that wasn’t true. He said the man was from the Molenbeek neighborhood, the home and transit point for many of the suspects linked to attacks in Brussels and in Paris in November 2015.
Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people at the Brussels airport and a subway station on March 22, 2016. The country increased security measures around the country following Tuesday’s incident.
Security remained high around rail facilities and preparations were underway to beef up security for a Coldplay concert at the 50,000-seat King Baudouin Stadium later Wednesday.
"In three years we have been confronted with several attacks or attempts and we say the zero risk does not exist," Prime Minister Charles Michel said after a specially-convened security meeting.
The station reopened on Wednesday and a mobile police command unit and several officers were still at the station, according to The Associated Press.
Belgium’s Crisis Center said Wednesday that it sees no need to raise the national security alert level, which has been on its second-highest rung for more than a year. It said that no public events would be canceled but that additional police and troops have been mobilized.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.