With at least two people killed and up to 70 more injured following an attack in the Belgian city of Liege on Tuesday, authorities are racing through the city to find those responsible.
The attack was first blamed on a lone assailant, who was either killed or committed suicide, but police now assume that there were at least three gunmen, one of whom has been arrested, the others still on the run.
All of the reports are currently unconfirmed. With the city still reeling in the confusion of the bombing, three initial theories about the motive of the attack have come out.
The first is that the attackers could have been escapees fleeing the Palais de Justice, the building complex housing Liege's court. The Guardian's Ian Traynor, who is working in Brussels, reported on the possible jail break lead:
The Palace of Justice complex on the St Lambert Square, the scene of the attack, is a large court and prison compound. Initial speculation that the assailants were involved in a jailbreak are hardening though it is unclear how they could be so heavily armed, he said.
The mayor of Liege, Willy Demeyer, confirmed that three males tried to escape from the palace of justice, according to the main Flemish paper, De Standaard.
Four men were set to be tried on robbery charges Tuesday afternoon, according to Belgium daily La Meuse. One of the robberies reportedly ended in a death.
Warning, this does absolutely not mean that the attack and the trial are linked, the paper added.
Helicopters are currently flying over the city, and one of the assailants is currently believed to be hiding in the Palais de Justice.
The second theory is that the attack is linked to Pakistani militants. On Tuesday, a Pakistani family was sentenced to lengthy prison terms by a Belgian court for the honor killing of their daughter, Sadia Sheikh. Sheikh was shot to death by her brother in 2007 because she refused to go through with an arranged marriage and chose instead to marry a native Belgian named Jean.
Since 9/11, Islamic terror is the first assumption made after any violent and tragic incident in the West. For example, immediately following an explosion at the Norwegian government headquarters earlier this year in Oslo, Islamic terrorists were blamed for the bombing. Some speculated that the attack could have been retribution against Norwegian newspapers -- many offices were located across the street -- for re-printing the controversial Danish cartoon of Muhammad. Others thought that it could have a reaction to Norway's military presence in Afghanistan, or a retaliation for the jailing of Iraqi-born cleric and Ansar al-Islam-founder Mullah Krekar.
However, the world soon learned that Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian national, was really responsible for the attack. Following the car bombing, Breivik went on a shooting spree at a nearby island summer camp, killing 77 people in total in what was one of the most tragic and shocking events in Europe in a decade.
The July 22 Olso attack brought to light the prevalence of right-wing extremism in Europe. The third theory for the Belgium attack lies here. Some reports have named one of the attackers as Nordine Amrani, a 32-year old Belgian citizen, and say that he could be following in Breivik's footsteps.
Hoping Leige is not like Oslo. Remember Oslo was a set up to distract while attacker went to Utoya [Island], Tweeted Yousef Munayyer, the Executive Director of the Palestine Center in Washington.
According to Sud Presse, Amrani is a convicted criminal who has served jail time for weapons possession and for growing marijuana.