Terror in Brussels
On Tuesday, March 22, at around 8:00 A.M local time, 3:00 A.M Eastern Standard Time, the Belgian capital of Brussels was riddled with explosions and terror.
In the most detrimental attack on European soil since the ISIS claimed Paris attacks in November of 2015, Brussels was crippled by bombs packed with nails, at the local airport and at Maalbeek Subway Station. At the time of publishing this article, 32 people have died and over 230 have been wounded. ISIS has claimed responsibility for these attacks.
Maalbeek Subway Station and Brussels airport from a bird’s eye view: where the two detonations occurred.
On April 4, 2016, there was a brief moment of silence before a commercial jet filled with passengers, departed Brussels airport headed for Portugal. This was the first flight since the attacks, and it was a symbolic step toward normalcy returning to the city. There are still many restrictions on how people can arrive at the airport. At this point, only cars are allowed, no busses, no trains.
The city is still on edge in the aftermath of the attacks, and two rallies were planned for the weekend of April 2, 2016. One, an anti-Islam rally in a neighborhood where several suspected terrorists were suspected to live. Another, was an anti-racism rally - in the same neighborhood. These rallies escalated extremely and 140 people were arrested by Brussels riot police, mainly for refusing to follow an order made by city officials to not protest.
The order was given after a right-wing, anti-immigrant group announced plans to rally in Molenbeek, a community that is heavily diverse with muslim immigrants. This demonstration was ultimately cancelled.
It is apparent that the overwhelming sense of anti-Muslim, or anti-Islamic racism in Brussels has spread to the Western world. People across America have been almost, brain-washed and blinded by fear; fear from ISIS attacks like the one in Brussels. The thing is - that is exactly what ISIS wants.
SHS sophomore, Isabelle Solem, was asked how attacks like these are going to affect the state of the United States in the long run, and she responded by saying: “I think eventually it is going to bring us into a war with ISIS, just like when Japan bombed the U.S it brought us into World War II. I think it is also affecting this country by how racist people look at Muslims. People think that if they see a Muslim, that he is going to attack people, which is entirely not true.”
When asked about whether security at places of transport like airports and train stations, should be even more strict than they already are, Solem, said, “I mean, yes they should, just like how after 9/11 they raised the security. Yes they should be increased.”
When asked the same question about inputting public security at public spaces, like parks, playgrounds and gathering spaces, Solem stated, “What ISIS is trying to do is trying to effect the most people. They wouldn't bomb house in middle of nowhere. They are looking to effect an entire population. So yes, but I think people also need to be more aware of their surroundings.”
What do you think? Let us know on the SHS Knight twitter.
This past week, Mohamed Abrini, the sole survivor of the attacks, was prosecuted and charged with participation in terrorist activities, terrorist murders, and plotting to commit terrorist murders. Abrini is one of the six people detained in police raids across Brussels, and has also been tied to to November’s Paris attacks, which killed 130 people, through surveillance footage and DNA residue. Abrini and the six terrorist can be seen below:
There is no question that terrorism has grown to be a common sight in today’s world, and ISIS’s grip on the Middle East, and more recently Europe, is getting tighter and tighter. It is only a matter of time that ISIS’s influence spreads to the western world, and horrid attacks like these occur on American soil. As Americans, I feel that people need to be mindful of their situation, and not so as much as to be prepared for an intending attack, but to also not forget what terrorist groups like ISIS have the ability to do. The world is already in shambles, and society does not need another surprise.