A transgender man of Tunisian origin was stabbed in Brussels Saturday by two men claiming to be affiliated with Islamic State.
The incident took place just hours before the Saturday massacre in Orlando, which killed 49 people. The prosecutor said Tuesday the attack is believed to be motivated by “hatred toward the LGBT community.”
The 26-year-old victim, identified as “Sharky” by Belgian media outlets, said the attack was politically motivated and that the perpetrators pledged allegiance to ISIS. The attackers beat “Sharky” before stabbing him several times in the abdomen.
He is currently in stable condition.
“I fear for my life tremendously,” Sharky told Het Laatste Nieuws Tuesday. “I want to change my name and officially request asylum in another country where I am not threatened.”
The victim further said attackers harassed him in Tunisia before he arrived in Belgium.
Belgium is the European country with the highest per capita rate of ISIS fighters. More than 500 Belgians have travelled to Syria in recent years to join the terror organization. The Paris attacks in November and Brussels in March were carried out by terrorists predominantly from the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek.
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