Terrorist attacks took place in Brussels this morning. Two bombs were set off at the international airport about 8:00 a.m. Brussels time; a third bomb was set off about 9:20 a.m. at a Metro station near the headquarters of the European Union. This site has some pictures of the damage done to the airport as well as pictures of a few bloody people. I did not see pictures of bodies without legs, but there are several pictures of injured people.
The Heritage Foundation has an article with questions about what the United States will do to protect citizens here. James Carafano is “a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges” as well as being a vice president at The Heritage Foundation. He noted that “The first question security professionals around the world ask after a horrific terrorist attack is: What’s next? The second question is: How to stop it?”
“A top concern here will be that the terror campaigns being orchestrated there [in Europe] could be directed here. A precedent exists for that. A core of the participants in the 9/11 attack organized a terrorist cell in Hamburg, Germany. If there are cells in Europe interested in attacking, one of their chief challenges will be traveling here. The U.S. has been focused on thwarting terrorist travel to the U.S. since the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. The danger was a major subject of investigation for the 9/11 commission.
“What the U.S. has done since 9/11 has been to focus on finding and stopping terrorists who might try to travel here. That is a strategy that makes sense.”
The State Department issued a warning to Americans about “potential risks to travel in Europe.
`Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants and transportation,’ it said in a statement. Officials advised U.S. citizens to `exercise vigilance’ in public places or on mass transportation and to take `particular caution’ during religious events or large events.”
Four missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were injured at the airport. Three elders from Utah were at the airport to bid farewell to a French sister slated to serve in Ohio. All four missionaries were injured; the elders were close to one of the blasts while the sister had already cleared security and was further away. All the missionaries were hospitalized with burns and shrapnel injuries.
This is the third brush with terrorist attacks for one of the elders. He was in Boston in 2013 to watch his mother compete in the Boston Marathon and was about a block away from the bombs. Last November he was serving in France when Paris was hit with attacks.