Brussels attacked, raises safety concerns for U.S.

Clay Dubberly, Editor in Chief

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, was rocked by terrorist bombings throughout the span of Tuesday, March 22, which left 31 dead and injured at least 300 — 61 of which are in critical condition.

Prosecutors say that there are four attackers, two of which have been identified: brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui.

One of the four attackers, who has not yet been named, was killed, and another is still on the run.

The Islamic State (IS), also known as Daesh, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In the ambush at Zaventem airport, jihadist Brahim el-Bakraoui blew himself up in a cowardly ambush, taking 11 people with him. His brother and fellow attacker, Khalid, killed 20 people at Maelbeek metro.

President Obama addressed the attacks, saying: “The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives. And one of my most powerful memories and one of my proudest moments as President was watching Boston respond after the marathon. … That is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists.”

The injured came from 40 different nationalities, and 150 were still being treated in Belgian hospitals.

According to federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, Brahim el-Bakraoui is featured in the middle of the photo below. The man to the left is the unnamed militant that died at the airport, and the man to the far right is still unidentified and on the run.

One of the bombers, Najim Laachraoui, is a suspect in the terror attacks in Paris.

Two explosions reportedly went off.

The prime minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, said “We were fearing terrorist attacks, and that has now happened.”

A senior Turkish official said that Ibrahim El Bakraoui had been deported to the Netherlands last year. Belgian authorities deported him for his criminal record but didn’t acknowledge they knew he had terrorist ties.

“These two deceased suicide bombers had lengthy criminal records,” Van Leeuw said, “but [were] not linked to terrorism.”


Feature photo courtesy of Gannett-CDN

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