Violent Jihad

Coordinated Bombings Rock Brussels

Even prior to today’s attack, Belgian counterterrorism officials have admitted they are entirely overwhelmed the scale of jihadist activity in the small European country.

BY CounterJihad · @twitterdavid | March 22, 2016

By Kyle Shideler

The capital city of Belgium and the European Union was the target of a coordinated terrorist attack, targeting the Brussels International Airport and the Maalbeek metro station. The most recent casualty count listed 36 dead, and more than 100 wounded, but casualty counts remain tentative and are likely to change.

According to reports, there were two loud explosions at the Departure hall of the Zaventem Brussels Airport. One of those explosions reportedly a suicide bombing, and witnesses say they heard gunfire and shouting in Arabic before the explosion occurred. Early reports suggested that one of the bombs detonated near the American Airlines Departure counter. Airlines around the world have diverted flights from the airport.

The subway bombing took place approximately an hour later at Maalbeek metro station, which is not far from the offices of the European Union. All public transit in Brussels has since been shut down and the city remains under lockdown. The U.S. Embassy has instructed U.S. residents in Brussels to shelter in place.

Two suspects were reportedly arrested not far from the station, but they have not yet been publicly identified.

Since the Paris attacks in November, Belgian security forces have undertaken a series of raids, focusing primarily on the heavily Muslim neighborhood of Molenbeek. Those raids resulted in the capture of Paris attack mastermind Salah Abdelslam, captured March 18th.  During the  raids, Belgian law enforcement faced significant armed resistance from terrorists armed with Kalashnikov rifles.  Belgian law enforcement are still seeking several men connected to Abdelslam’s network.

Following Abdelslam’s arrrest, violence broke out as Molenbeek residents threw stones at police and rioted in support of the jihadi terrorist, whom they described as “hero”. The Belgian government has admitted that they have “lost control” of the Molenbeek neighborhood, which is sometimes described as a “No-Go” zone where police and law enforcement find it exceedingly difficult to operate.

Given the time required to acquire the materials, construct an explosive vest and other explosive devices, and conduct reconnaissance, it is highly likely that an attack of some kind had been preplanned prior to Abdelslam’s capture, and reports as recently as yesterday had noted that Abdelslam “was ready to restart something from Brussels…” It’s possible that the capture of Abdelslam forced the terrorists responsible to advance their timeline.

There has not yet been a claim of responsibility, although there are reports of Islamic State supporters celebrating the attacks on social media.

Even prior to today’s attack, Belgian counterterrorism officials have admitted they are entirely overwhelmed the scale of jihadist activity in the small European country. One CT official told Buzzfeed News:

“We just don’t have the people to watch anything else and, frankly, we don’t have the infrastructure to properly investigate or monitor hundreds of individuals suspected of terror links, as well as pursue the hundreds of open files and investigations we have,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said.

“It’s literally an impossible situation and, honestly, it’s very grave.”

The situation in Europe continues to intensify, thanks in part to the flow of refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the Arab and Muslim world. Islamic State has publicly declared that it has operatives moving among the refugee flow, possibly utilizing legitimate Syrian passports the jihadist organized has acquired. Additionally refugees are at risk of being targeted for indoctrination and recruitment by pro-jihad clerics and Islamist organizations operating in Europe, as noted by German intelligence in September of last year. Even prior to the Paris attack French intelligence was reportedly preparing plans for what amounted to a counterinsurgency campaign to reestablish government control over so-called “Sensitive Urban Areas.”

Despite aggressive counterterrorism operations by European law enforcement since the Paris attacks, the security situation is likely to continue to deteriorate, as a result of long standing policies that have encouraged wide-spread Islamic immigration to Europe, coupled with permitting widespread jihadist indoctrination by European-based Islamists. Unfortunately the same can be said of the United States, where U.S. intelligence has admitted it considers the threat of terrorists among the refugee flow as serious, and the FBI has said the capacity does not exist to properly vet potential refugees.



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