Yesterday I explained why the Brussels only was targeted in Europe. Here I will further continue with the same topic. There were two explosions in the international departure hall at Brussels Airport. It was reported that shots were fired and shouts in Arabic were heard before the explosions occurred. An airport worker said that he “heard someone yelling in Arabic before the blasts”. A third bomb was found in a search of the airport, which was later destroyed in a controlled explosion. Belgium’s federal prosecutor confirmed that suicide bombers carried out the explosions with nail bombs. Still from CCTV footage showing Najim Laachraoui, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and one other unidentified suspect of the bombing at the Brussels Airport. Two brothers, Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, are believed to have carried out two suicide bombings during the attacks. In security camera video of the airport, Ibrahim is seen with two other men, one of them was identified as Najim Laachraoui, who also carried out a suicide bombing during the attacks. All three identified suspects were linked to the same terrorist cell that plotted the November 2015 Paris attacks.
In the airport security video, the three men are seen pushing luggage, which were believed to store the bombs that exploded in the airport. According to a taxi driver who drove them to the airport, he tried to help them with their luggage, but they ordered him to be away from it. Ibrahim and Laachraoui each appear to be wearing a glove on the left hand, which may have concealed detonators to the explosives.
The el-Bakraoui brothers were known to the Belgian authorities. Unlike other radicalised ISIS adherents, who started with small criminal offences, the two men had a criminal history of more severe crimes. They were believed to have rented an apartment that housed some of the assailants involved in the Paris attacks in November, as well as supplying ammunition for them. Ibrahim died in one of the suicide bombings at Brussels Airport, while Khalid committed the bombing at the metro station, in which he also died. Both brothers evaded capture during an anti-terrorist police raid on March15.
Khalid was convicted in 2011 for a series of carjackings and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. He was released from prison after serving most of his sentence. Khalid was also arrested in 2011 for possession of Kalashnikov rifles. Following his release, he violated the conditions of his parole, and Interpol subsequently issued an arrest warrant for him in August.
In January 2010, Ibrahim was involved in the attempted robbery of a currency exchange office, where he shot at police with a Kalashnikov rifle. The Mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, and the Mayor of Molenbeek, Philippe Moureaux, described the shooting as a “fait divers” (a small daily news item) and “normal in a large city”, causing controversy. Ibrahim was sentenced to ten years in prison, but was released on parole in 2014. He did not abide by the parole conditions and was sought again by the authorities. According to authorities in Turkey, they detained Ibrahim as a militant in June 2015 and deported to the Netherlands. Belgian authorities were also informed of the detention and deportation, but they apparently ignored the warnings and the Netherlands released Ibrahim after failing to establish his link to terrorism.
Najim Laachraoui, also known under his cover name, Soufiane Kayal was confirmed to be one of the two suicide bombers at the airport on 23 March. He was born in Morocco but raised in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, where he studied electromechanical engineering at a local Catholic high school. He reportedly travelled to Syria in February 2013.
Like the el-Bakraoui brothers, he evaded capture during the two anti-terrorist police raids on 15 and 18 March, which captured Salah Abdeslam. Laachraoui is believed to be an accomplice of Abdeslam, with whom he travelled across Europe under a false identity. He is also believed to have created the suicide vests used in the Paris attacks. Raids and searches were conducted across Belgium, and heightened security has been implemented in a number of other countries, as a result of the attacks.
Shortly after the news of explosions, Israel banned incoming flights from Europe for the rest of the day. The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the Belgian authorities are currently advising against travel to Brussels. Officials at the US Embassy in Brussels issued a notice in which they warned of the possibility of more attacks occurring and recommended, “sheltering in place and avoiding all public transportation”. Additional police were deployed to the Belgian border with the Netherlands. Security was increased, particularly at airports and other transport hubs, in countries such as Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Germany, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States, even India is on high alert. No one knows, what’s their intention is by killing innocent human beings and when will this stop? If some misguided idiots from one particular community plants bombs and kills innocent people, we should not blame the entire community or their religious ‘book’, as no religion advocates violence.
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