Coming just 4 days after the arrest of the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, the main fugitive from November’s Paris terror attack, bomb blast rocked Zaventem airport 6 km from Brussels at 08:00 Local time, the blasts at the airport were quickly followed by a separate attack in the Brussels metro system near the heart of the European Union. the attacks have left nearly 40 people dead and many more injured in this despicable attack.
This is the fourth major terrorist attack in Europe since January 2015. In a escalation in IS operations on the continent. Media sources have stated that this attack may be a reprisal for the arrest of Salah Abdeslam 4 days ago, however the coordinated nature of this mornings attack would seem to rule this out. At the very least the arrest may have brought up the time frame of the attacks, they have been most likely been in the planning stages for quite some time.
In terms of the attacks we know that there were two blasts at the airport and since this morning Belgian police and military personnel have found and defused at least 3 other devices in the vicinity of the terminal, which were no doubt planted to act as secondary explosions to injure first responders and cause maximum damage as innocent people fled the scene. This points to a well planned out attack, the design of the devices is not yet know to the public but from what has been released so far the devices that failed to go off have been reported to contain nails and ball bearings, designed to injure and maim.
This is the second large-scale coordinated Islamist terrorist attack in Europe in the last 6 months, and bears the hallmarks of the Paris attacks that rocked the French capital in November of last year. Highly coordinated and well planned, the questions now are not if, but when and where the next attacks will occur?
Questions have been raised again about the adequacy of Intelligence services in finding such terri cells, as it appears there was no prior information relating to this attack available. Regardless of whether there was intelligence available or not, the perpetrators of the Paris attacks and these attacks in Belgium were highly organized and very aware of intelligence service techniques. Which seems to indicate a tightening of the terror cells security and communications, in terms of signals intelligence and human intelligence, possibly a reorganization after the Paris attacks. Both of which are key means to find, fix, finish and eliminate such groups. It is very possible that these cells have been in place for quite some time. It has been established that Brussels has been used as a Jihadi base of operations for quite some time and that Belgian nationals are the single greatest contributor to IS ranks in Iraq and Syria.
Belgian security services have flooded the streets and are conducting patrols around the capital, in what is becoming an all to common trend in European cities and one that is likely to continue. Belgian police have detained a number of suspects who were loitering outside the terminal building shortly after the attacks this morning and as of 17:00 local time they seeking a 3rd suspect in connection with the attacks.
The man appearing in white and wearing a hat in the picture below is currently being hunted down by Belgian special forces.