“Belgium was struck because it is a part of the international coalition.” That is Isis’ signature on the attacks in Brussels that killed 34 people. As usually, the jihadist organization entrusted its claim of the massacre and the threat of “new attacks in Europe” to Site. Little more than four months after the attacks in Paris and just a few days after the arrest of the Scarlet Pimpernel Salah Abdeslam in Brussels, the man considered the mastermind of the attacks in France, the Belgian capital itself, the seat of the main European institutions, became a target.
Two bombs burst in the lobby of the Zaventem airport, causing 14 victims, and another blast struck the Maalbeek metro station, at a stone’s throw from the headquarters of the European Commission: 20 dead. The attack at the airport occurred in the departure hall, which was entirely devastated: according to US sources, at least one suicide bomber went into action and a bomb might have been put in a suitcase. Scenes of panic among the passengers, immediately evacuated and guarded by a cordon of security forces. Also a Kalashnikov and a living bomb were found. The bomb squad detonated a suspicious pack, whereas the police continued to look for the other terrorists and their helpers inside the airport.
Disastrous scenes and despair also at the metro station struck by an attack, with shocking images of a gutted car, the doors of the train in tatters, and several people who are still blocked station. Belgium has decreed three days of national mourning, closed the borders and severed rail links, also by deploying the military in the street, whereas alerts for potential new attacks followed one another: Bomb alert at the hospital of Saint-Pierre, where several people injured in the attacks of yesterday morning were hospitalized and where Salah Abdeslam was admitted after his capture. Other alerts concerned the Royal Palace, the University of ULB in Brussels, the Liege nuclear centre, and a cinema in Antwerp.
Police has released a photo of the three alleged bombers of the Zaventem airport: Two of them wear dark cloths and according to investigators, they might have died in the attack, whereas the third one wears a bright coat and a hat and is still sought after. As it had happened during the days following the massacre of Paris, the prosecutor asked the media not to publish any information about the ongoing operations. The alert is very high also in all the capitals of the continent: in Paris, Gare du Nord was evacuated due to a false alarm because of a suspicious pack, and security measures wrere raised even at Italian airports.