Latest: According to Al Arabiya and now multiple other sources, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack via affiliated propaganda channels.
From the group’s statement:
“Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station. The attacks resulted in more than 230 dead and wounded.”
Update: The latest reports indicate 38 dead, over 212 injured, 3 explosions: 1 bomb at the metro and 2 suicide bombers at the Brussels Airport; the country remains on high alert.
Update: Police found a Kalashnikov next to one of the dead attackers at the Brussels airport.
Update: Belgian media have reported a fourth explosion apparently at Rue De La Loi. It may be a controlled detonation. Police are also evacuating Royal Park.
Update: The Belgian army will deploy 275 more troops to Brussels as the city will once again come to resemble a war zone.
Update: Reports indicate the death toll from the twin airport blasts sits at 13 while casualties in the metro number 20. Cell phone networks are congested and authorities are encouraging Belgians to use messaging apps and social media to contact friends and family.
Obviously, officials believe there could be a connection to networks cultivated by Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam who was captured in a Molenbeek anti-terror raid last week. On theory says that cells connected to Abdeslam might have pulled forward plans to bomb soft targets fearing more raids were imminent.
* * *Just four months after the tragic attacks in Paris, Europe was once again the epicenter of a terrorist mass murder, when several deadly explosions this morning rocked Brussels, first hitting the international airport and then a metro station near the European Union institutions, resulting in dozens of casualties and over a hundred wounded in what Belgian authorities moments ago labeled as terrorist attacks. Continue reading »