Brave knights of Allah waging jihad fi sabil Allah –“jihad for the sake of Allah”– bravely struck the Brussels airport and a subway station in Belgium this morning, killing at least 34 innocent people, wounding over 100 more.
But it’s a Religion of Peace, dontcha know?
A series of coordinated terror attacks in Brussels Tuesday have put Belgium on its highest threat level alert and sparked the U.S. Embassy there to warn American citizens in the city to shelter in place.
Multiple explosions targeted two locations in Brussels Tuesday morning. Two blasts struck a departure hall of Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one occurred at the Maelbeek subway station.
The subway station is close to the offices of the European Union in central Brussels. At least one of the attacks is believed to have been the result of a suicide bomber.
Officials have confirmed that at least 31 people were killed in the attacks and 187 injured. Belgian media reports have indicated that the death toll has been elevated to 34.
“The level [of] threat in Belgium has been raised to 4 (maximum alert) with special emphasis on transport hubs, airports, stations, and nuclear plants,” Prime Minister Charles Michel said Tuesday.
Authorities have shuttered the subway system and closed the international airport in the wake of the attacks. Reports later Tuesday indicated that the Belgian nuclear plant close to the country’s border with Germany had been evacuated.
The attack came in the wake of the shooting and capture last week of Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris massacre of last November. A social media channel linked with ISIS has hinted at responsibility for the attack, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
Regardless, Belgian authorities have a lot of questions to answer about how this could happen. I’m not minimizing the challenges security services face –figures given by the head of the UK’s MI5 several years ago were mortifying, and intelligence agencies have to get it right every time, while terrorists have to be right only once — but still one has to ask how jihadists carrying explosives got past airport security. What weakness or flaw did they spot? Did they have inside help? The Belgian people and bereaved families will no doubt be demanding answers.
It’s also a somber reminder to us that, no matter how much we’d like to ignore the world outside our borders (whether America’s or the EU’s), that world will not ignore us. Despite one major party obsessing over electing the first woman president (solely because she’s a woman) and the other seemingly hell-bent on nominating a reality-show star, both of whom are utterly unqualified for office, we are still very much the targets in a very old war. The threat posed by the jihad is deadly serious, and the world needs an American president just as serious and who has a sober, realistic approach to his duties.
Meanwhile, good hunting to Belgian and European authorities as they hunt down these maniacs’ accomplices.