ISIS has claimed responsibility for the devastating suicide bombings in Brussels on Tuesday. More than 30 are believed to have perished and scores were left injured in the Belgian capital.
The attack was reported to have begun at 7.00 GMT at the Zaventem airport, with a second explosion occurring at the Maelbeek metro station.
The HLN reported that Belgian authorities were first alerted to fears of a potential bombing by a taxi driver who dropped off the suspected bombers — refusing to allow him to help with their luggage.
Growing uneasiness at the threat presented by ISIS has spread across the world, with the attack occurring only four months after the 2015 Paris attacks, and less than a week after similar strikes in Istanbul.
Brussels was reportedly targeted due to its affiliation with international efforts to combat ISIS, despite the Belgian government withdrawing much of its support due to high rates of disapproval as well as enormous and ineffective spending.
ISIS published a statement through Amaq, an ISIS affiliated news agency.
“Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday.
Targeting an airport and a central metro station in the center of the Belgian capital Brussels, a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State.
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.”
It is speculated that Mr. Abdeslam was likely to have been a part of organizing the Tuesday strikes as well. This claim is supported by the discovery of bomb detonators at an apartment in Brussels where his fingerprints were also found.
Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière has even suggested the attacks occurred because of Abdeslam’s arrest — his co-conspirators likely fearing his arrest had left them compromised.
Messages of support and solidarity have been delivered across the world.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, in his capacity as acting chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe made the following statement:
“The murderous attacks in Brussels, I condemn in the strongest terms.
They aim at the heart of Europe and are guided in their criminal against on defenseless people.
Europe is standing together in solidarity. Belgium is not alone. Our Belgian friends can count on the solid support from Germany and Europe. We face the terrorism against jointly and resolutely.”
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