Tue 22 Mar, 2016 08:31 am
At least 31 killed in terror attacks at Brussels airport, Metro station
As many as 31 people were killed and more than 180 injured as coordinated terrorist bombings rocked the Brussels airport and subway system during rush hour Tuesday morning in the Belgian capital.
Two bombings at Zaventem Airport, where 11 people were reportedly killed, and another at the metro station in the Maelbeek section near the European Union headquarters, where the mayor's office said 20 were killed, were almost immediately confirmed as terrorism. The attack at the airport was reportedly accompanied by shouts in Arabic and gunfire, and an unexploded suicide belt was reportedly found in the aftermath.
The newscasts I watched didn't give any information, beyond cataloging the destruction.
ISIS claims responsibility for the attacks
Nothing about Brussels?
I actually wondered about that, too.
It's in the news here since more than eight hours.
A reporter of Spiegel/spiegel-online had been in the airport, when it happened, a reporter of one of our public tv-stations was in a metro train, another just passed the entrance when the smoke came out ...
Is A2K a forum where terrorists attacks in Europe can be debated with any measure of sensitivity and understanding? I've been discussing it on other forums. Here I think there's too many gun nuts, Islamophobes and Europe haters for that.
This has to be a direct result of Belgian Police catching the guy they were looking for involved in the Paris attacks. They had probably been planning something and had to move then or else worry he might give them up under interrogation.
I hope the EU holds up and stays strong.
Clearly it is a tragedy. Scores of innocent people murdered or wounded by psychotics motivated in varying measures by religion, hatred, sadism, fury, self-loathing, and despair. Unfortunately we live in a world where such attacks are losing any element of surprise or sensation. Although a horrific crime, it will not receive the same attention that was devoted to the Paris attack.
Unfortunately we also live in a nation where a fairly large segment of people don't want to address these attacks. Initially because they would like to cling to the chance and hope that they weren't perpetrated by Muslims (Far preferable if the attackers were Right-wing terrorists) and subsequently (once the world knows the attackers were Muslim) because they prefer not to be faced with either a discussion about the conflict the West has with a large number of the world's Muslims, or the realization that such a conflict exists and is significant.
Coming on the heels of the Belgian arrest of the ISIS mastermind of the Paris attacks, this is an unequivocal indication that the West is at war with ISIS. If one prefers not to say "War with Islam" (agreed that this is ridiculous) or "War with Islamic Extremists" that's fine, we don't need anything more than War with ISIS (or "War with ISIL" if you are a member of the Obama Administration). You could like Kerry of Vietnam, substitute "Daesh" for ISIS or ISIL, but it would sound sort of forced, as it always does when he uses it. If one has Islamaphobia-phobia, Daesh may seem like an excellent choice, except that it is a loose acronym of al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Arabic for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). It does, though, have the advantage of sounding like the Arabic words Daes ("one who crushes something underfoot") and Dahes ("one who sows discord").
Whatever name one chooses to identify the Enemy is fine, as long as recognition that the Enemy exists is possessed. Next must come the realization that this war needs to be fought to win, not to contain. It's not enough to go after the actual perpetrators of individual attacks as if they were simple criminals. Employing a probably tired metaphor, the perpetrators are the fangs of a snake that lies coiled in Syria. Remove them and the snake grows new ones. The snake's head has to come off.
I share the reluctance many have for sending US troops to Syria, but we should keep in mind that law enforcement agents are being placed in peril whenever they engage in raids like the one in Brussels that led to this attack. Fighting ISIS as a criminal organization or as the enemy in war, brave man and women are going to be risking their lives and some will become casualties. The risk, fear, blood and gore doesn't go away because the fight is conducted in the streets of our cities instead of on a battlefield. The advantage of the latter, however, is that it at least offers the possibility of a decisive victory. Treated as criminals, the dangerous battles with ISIS will increase indefinitely. Treated as enemies in a war, they stand an excellent chance of coming to a final end. However, in order for that outcome to be even possible the West must go all in and fight to win the war.
Yes, the nations in the region should be leading the war against ISIS, but except for the Kurds (and the West has seen to it that they don't even have a nation) the Arabs, Persians and Turks want no part of it. I'm sure that the leaders of some of these nations even believe that if necessary they can, eventually, come to terms with ISIS.
ISIS launched this attack against Brussels to send a message to the West: "If you have the nerve to seek "justice" or revenge for any of our attacks, you will only get more. You can't beat us."
They are not going to run out of people smart enough to pull off organized attacks or stupid enough to participate in them even if amounts to suicide. There is no course of action that the West can take that will remove it as the identified Enemy of ISIS. Allowing them to run wild over the region, by not directly or indirectly fighting them might put a stop to the attacks temporarily, but I doubt it, and assuming they are able to establish a Caliphate that covers the entire Middle-East, does anyone think they would then remain content to rule their stretch of the world?
Establishing such a Caliphate would be no small feat and it's certainly possible (and maybe even probable) that the Arabs, Kurds, Persians, and Turks would win that war and essentially annihilate ISIS, but at what cost? Does anyone think oil refineries would not be targets of attack? That there would not be resentment in former "allies" for the West's failure to join the fray? That Israel would be allowed to ride out the war as an unaffected observer? That the world's economy would not suffer a major blow?
So we in the West either just learn to absorb blows like this attack on Brussels and chalk it up to the perils of living in the 21st Century or we go to war to win against an enemy with absolutely no redeeming virtues or claims, and absolutely no interest in a "diplomatic" resolution that doesn't actually mean "appeasement." If favoring the latter choice makes me a war-monger, I'm OK with that.
That's the feeling, but Frank Gardener was saying Belgian counter terrorism is lax. If the Belgian police want to know something they find it out from the British police who are told by MI5 who get their information from the CIA who in turn are told by Belgian intelligence.
One good thing is that maybe the file leaks and arrests forced IS' hands that this is one last roll of the dice and if they'd had further time to plan it could be worse.
After what I have heard there is little cooperation between the French speaking police and the Dutsch speaking police.
Bad cooperation within a country amongst the police makes it easier for crmininals - in this case terrorsist to hide and find friends. That could be one of the reasons that they choose Bruxelles to hide in.
Frank Gardener does know a thing or two about security. He says the Belgians are where we were ten years ago re cooperation.
This is one major issue that needs to be resolved pan Europe.
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Although a horrific crime, it will not receive the same attention that was devoted to the Paris attack.
Actually, it will and already has received a lot more attention because there are major travel disturbances with travel on air, by train and by car; more people are affected personally not only in Brussel and Beögium but in all neighbouring countries.
It's also the capital of the EU.
In fairness Finn may just be talking about the American Media.
I suppose so.
re EU: the Metro attack as in between the main EU-buildings.
It's just less than an hour ago that pupils are allowed to leave schools, kindergartens and nurseries.
Phone lines have been opened again, too.
Tenthousands of people are still stuck in hotels in Brussels.
Still huge traffic queues at the borders to (and from) Belgium in France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Germany.
But opposite to what Trump twittered ("Do you remember what a beautiful place Brussels was? Not anymore. It's from a different world"), Brussels has not lost its beauty due to these attacks.
My typically American centrist perspective had me commenting upon attention here in the US. The transportation difficulties will not widely affect Americans.
The transportation is just why more people here in Europe notice these attacks directly.
More important is that the capital of the EU was attacked, "the heart of Europe", as politicians called it.
Apparently we tried to show support for Brussels but we unfortunately botched it up the first time.
Brussels attacks: New York City botches tribute to victims as it lights up landmark with wrong flag
the terrorists are wising up by switching their explosive choices to ones that are relatively undetectable without special GC units that can pick up polar compounds and ketones.
These classes of explosives qre deadly dangerous cause they are unstable . BUT ISIS seems to be turning to them when I see that weve captured tankfuls of feedstock materials that were never used in the 9/11 , Charlie, Spain, and London attacks
... their explosive choices to ones that are relatively undetectable without special GC units that can pick up polar compounds and ketones.
You mean, GC units that pick up air-borne chemicals? At what distance from the source of the chemicals? Why not canine units?