Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Brussels in Mourning


“what is coming is worse and more bitter”
                         

                                              Photo obtained from abc news
               
That was part of the statement given by the Islamic state which claimed responsibility for the terrorist bombings in Brussels. At least 31 people in total have died from two attacks which were done in the Zaventum airport and Maelbeek metro station. The first two blasts went off at the airport killing at least 11 and injuring about one hundred others. Investigators believe that it is very likely that the attack at the airport was carried out through suicide bombing although another bomb was found in a different part of the airport which failed to go off and was disposed of by security. An hour later at the metro station, another bomb went off killing at least 20 and injuring 130 others. The three suspects have not been identified yet and investigators believe that the third one is still on the lose which prompted many raids in the surrounding area.
A taxi driver who had driven the possible suspects shown by police in pictures led officials to the location of where he had picked them up. Inside police found a nail bomb, chemicals, and an ISIS flag.

The attacks may be in response to the arrest made on Salah Abdeslam. Connected to the Paris attacks, Europe's most wanted man was found hiding out in Brussels suburbs.

"The Belgians have been sitting on a ticking time bomb," a U.S. counterterrorism official said.
Many potential terrorists travel from Brussels up to countries like Syria or Iraq to join Isis, and some return back to Brussels making it what some describe as a hot spot for terrorist activity.

Questions: Do you think that the attacks are connected to the Paris attacks? How should the international community respond? How do we prevent future attacks by radical Islamic groups? Should President Obama cut his trip to Cuba short and return to assert leadership?

Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/mar/23/brussels-attacks-police-search-airport-bomb-suspect-live
https://theintercept.com/2016/03/22/dramatic-images-chaos-brussels-following-attacks-airport-metro/


3 comments:

Adjon Tahiraj said...

Great post! I think there is definitely a link between the Brussels and Paris bombings that occurred in November. I think the international community has a to take a very strong stance against terrorism in order for bombings to stop. I feel that right now the terrorist groups feel all powerful and unbreakable because not much is being done and their consequences are quite minimal. I think to prevent future attacks we need to take out the source with are the isis members and leaders in the middle east, not ones hiding out in Europe. I believe that once the leaders are caught or killed and the main body of the organization which is in the middle east gets taken out, the rest will have no leadership and will eventually disperse.

As to Obama, I do think he should address the public about what happened but I don't think the trip needs to necessarily be canceled because we don't want to show these terrorists that they're having such a big impact on us.

Virginia Hsiao said...

I agree with Adjon that there may be a link between the Brussels and Paris bombing, although I'm not 100% sure how ISIS operates. In terms of responding to the crisis, President Obama has recently listed "defeating ISIL" as his number one priority (https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/03/23/president-obama-my-top-priority-defeat-isil), and although I do think it may be a proper thing to claim in a political sphere, I'm not too sure how much it does to solve the root problem. Given that Russia is considering withdrawing troops from Syria and that such crises seem to occur more frequently than before, I think we need a balance between an overall method to solve the systemic issue and one that quells the fear that has resulted as a consequence of the unpredictable nature of the crises. A big factor that can help is the careful use of language during political campaigns. What else do you guys think will help solve these problems?

Huayu Ouyang said...

I agree with Adjon and Virginia that the Brussels attacks are connected to the Paris attacks, especially because I remember that a few weeks after the Paris bombings, Brussels was on high alert due to a suspected terror attack related to ISIL. I'm not sure how the international community should respond to defeat radical terrorist groups like ISIL, especially since they have such a broad network throughout the Middle East. I don't think that xenophobic and discriminatory language towards Muslims or refugees is the answer though. I don't think Obama needs to return from Cuba but he should address the international community and the U.S. to show that the U.S. is in solidarity with Brussels.