ISIS claims responsiblity for bombings in Belgium

By Catherine Herbert
Staff Writer

Last Tuesday, March 22, there were attacks at a metro station and an international airport in Brussels, Belgium, that killed 35 people and left more than 300 wounded, as of Monday, March 28, CNN reported.

The attacks started at 8 a.m. at the Brussels Airport. An image released by Belgian authorities shows three men in the international airport who are suspected to be the perpetrators of the attacks. CNN reported that two of the three men were suicide bombers, with the third man being the facilitator of the attacks.

Investigators are still searching for this third man and have utilized the public for help. Officials say there was a third bomb left at the airport, but it did not go off, according to CNN.

People of Brussels mourn the victims of the terror attacks. AP Photo
People of Brussels mourn the victims of the terror attacks. AP Photo

Approximately one hour later, another explosion occurred at the Maelbeek metro station, which is in the center of Brussels and a hub for symbolic targets for ISIS, since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union institutions are in the surrounding area, CNN reported.

ISIS has claimed that the group is behind the attacks and warned that there would be more, according to BBC News. Investigators have remarked that the timing of the attacks has a strategic meaning: The attacks on Tuesday occurred just days after the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, the surviving main suspect of the Paris attacks in November, the New York Times reported.

A taxi driver, who drove the three men to the airport, recognized the men from a photo and informed authorities where he had picked them up, according to CNN. From that location of the Schaebeek district of Brussels, authorities were able to perform raids, in which they found chemical products that could be used to make a bomb, accompanied by an ISIS flag.

The city of Brussels, with a population of approximately 1 million people, was shut down for a few days as a precaution after the attacks. All flights to and from the city’s international airport were cancelled from Tuesday, March 22, to Wednesday, March 23, according to the New York Times.

Other forms of transportation were also suspended, such as the Eurostar trains, which run from Brussels to London; the Thalys trains, which run from Brussels to various other European cities and, briefly, every subway line in the city, according to the New York Times.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called for a three-day mourning period in the wake of the attacks and regarded Tuesday’s events as “a day of tragedy, a black day.”

Other world leaders have shared their grief and solidarity with the victims of the attacks, including President Barack Obama, who made a statement that the acts of violence were “outrageous attacks against innocent people” according to BBC News.

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