The hand of the Islamic State was all along expected in the Brussels attacks that killed at least 30 people and injured many more. According to a Reuters report, ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital on Tuesday.
The coordinated assault came four days after the capture of arrest of the 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect in the ISIS attacks on Paris last November. Shouts in Arabic were reportedly heard shortly before two blasts struck a crowded airport departure lounge at airport.
A security camera picture, made public by the Belgian media, shows three young men pushing heavily-loaded luggage trolleys through the airport; the police suspect to be the terrorists. While the two of them blew themselves up, the police are looking for the third suspect.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said at a news conference in Brussels, “What we feared has happened.” The authorities are worried that there would be more incidents, he added.
It needs to be remembered that a day before the attacks, Belgium’s Interior Minister Jan Jambon had said that his country was on high alert for a revenge attack.
Reacting to the Brussels outrage, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, “We are at war and we have been subjected to acts of war in Europe for the last few months.”
US President Barack Obama said, “We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world.”
Meanwhile there has been no change in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s travel to Brussels on March 30 for the India-EU summit. “We condemned the attack with strongest possible terms. We stand in solidarity with people and government of Belgium. We offfer our condolences to families of the victims. Terrorism is a global scourge and the attack in Belgium underscores once again the need to counter it unitedly,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.