Rabat - The so-called “Islamic State” has claimed responsibility for the attacks on an airport and a subway station in Brussels that have killed at least 31 people and injured more than 100 others.
Rabat – The so-called “Islamic State” has claimed responsibility for the attacks on an airport and a subway station in Brussels that have killed at least 31 people and injured more than 100 others.
The group made the announcement via Amaq, ISIS’s official news agency. The attacks were in response to Belgium’s support of the international coalition fighting against ISIS, according to the agency.
Early Tuesday morning, two bombs blasted at the Zaventem airport in the Belgian capital and one other blasted at the Maelbeek metro station, located near the European Union headquarters.
The attackers in the airport opened fire before they detonated their suicide belts, according to witnesses.
Florence Muls, communications manager for the targeted airport, has defended the security measures that have been in place at the Brussels airport.
The area surrounding the terminal’s entrance is “open” and does not require security checks on luggage or passengers. European rules do not require closing the area off, Muls told the Associated Press (AP).
An Iraqi intelligence official told the AP that ISIS had not originally planned to attack Brussels. The terrorist group changed its target to Brussels after authorities arrested Salah Abdeslam, the “mastermind” behind the Paris attacks, in the city on Friday, the official said.
The same source added that intelligence information from the city of Raqqa in Syria had warned European countries for two months that ISIS had been planning attacks on the continent’s airports and train stations.
According to another senior Iraqi intelligence officer quoted by ABC news, three other suicide bombers will carry out another attack. In accordance with the warning, European countries have tightened security at airports and transit stations.
Since 2014, Belgium’s threat level has stayed “severe,” meaning a terrorist attack is highly likely.