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April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Brussels’

Brussels Airport Suicide Bombers Named, 1 ISIS Terrorist Named, At Large

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Belgian media have named the two suicide bombers who blew up the departure hall at Zaventem Airport in Brussels on Tuesday.

State broadcaster RTBF reported the two terrorists were brothers, Khalid and Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, both known to the police.

A third suspect, Najim Laachraoui, was also seen on CCTV security footage before the explosions in the airport, and remains at large.

Brussels authorities have asked residents to stay in their homes due to the security situation in the city.

The two brothers were acknowledged as “martyrs” by the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization. The terror group took responsibility for the attacks on the city’s airport and a metro station near the headquarters of the European Union.

At least 30 people died in the attacks and more than 200 others were wounded. Two Israelis who sustained minor wounds and four U.S. citizens who were hospitalized.

Hana Levi Julian

Brussels Police Find Third Bomb, Evacuate Nuclear Plants as ISIS Takes Responsibility for Attack

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Brussels police sappers neutralized a third bomb at Zaventem Airport on Tuesday after two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the departure hall hours earlier. The bomb, filled with nails, was discovered in a security sweep following the attack. It was safely detonated in a controlled explosion by sappers from the city’s bomb squad.

The Amaq news agency affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist organization issued a bulletin Tuesday afternoon claiming that ISIS was responsible for the attacks. The SITE intelligence watchdog group verified the claim.

“Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station in the center of the Belgian capital, Brussels, a country participating in the coalition against the Islamic State,” it said. “Islamic State fighters opened fire inside the Zaventem airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maelbeek metro station.”

It is still not entirely clear how many people were killed and how many wounded at the airport and in the attack at the Brussels metro. Figures vary wildly, depending on the source – even varying between government agencies.

So far the death toll ranges from 10 to 14 dead in the attack at the airport, with between 81 to 100 wounded. In the attack at the Maelbeek metro station, the figures appear more consistent, with the death toll settled at 20; but the number of wounded ranges from 100 to 130.

Three suicide belts packed with explosives were discovered in the airport during the sweep. Also found on the terminal floor after the attack was a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle with ammunition, near the body of one of the terrorists.

“Suspicious objects” were also found in the Maelbeek subway station and near Brussels University, located a bit further away. The bomb squad safely detonated those two as well.

However, the discovery of an additional suspicious package prompted police to re-establish a security cordon at the airport, according to Flemish broadcaster VTM.

Two suspicious packages were also found inside the offices of the National Pensions Office in Brussels, prompting authorities to clear the building, state-run RTBF reported.

Two nuclear power plants were shut down and evacuated by police, but few details were provided about the reason for the move. All but essential staff were evacuated from the nuclear plants in Tihange and Doel under orders by Belgian police, according to a spokesperson from Engie, the French firm that operates the facilities.

The office of Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw confirmed Tuesday night that raids conducted in the northern Brussels suburb of Schaarbeek “led to the discovery of [another] explosive device containing nails, among other things. The investigators have also discovered chemical products and an Islamic State flag,” according to the statement quoted by The Guardian.

The prosecutor told reporters at an earlier news conference there had been a total of three explosions earlier in the day – two at the airport and one in Maelbeek, rather than three at the metro as earlier reported. Two of three men seen in a CCTV photo leaked to European media “very likely” committed the suicide attack, according to Van Leeuw. He also confirmed there is an active manhunt underway for that third individual, seen in the footage at the airport, dressed in white.

The Belgian government received statements of condolence and support from leaders and governments around the world, including Israel, Turkey, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, all of the members of the European Union and NATO, the United States and elsewhere.

“This is a cowardly attack, an attack on our values and on our open societies,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. “Terrorism will not defeat democracy and take away our freedoms.”

Hana Levi Julian

World Condemnations After Brussels Terror Attack Leaves 34 Dead, 136 Wounded

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

“We are facing a difficult, challenging time and we should face up to this by being united,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said after the attack in a televised news conference. “What we feared, has happened… There are many dead, many injured.”

Officials asked the public for blood donations.

Belgium has raised national security to Level 4, its highest level, in the wake of Tuesday morning’s multi-site terror attacks in Brussels.

According to the Belgian Health Ministry, a total of 34 people were killed and 136 others were wounded in the two explosions at the Brussels international airport and in three explosions on the Brussels metro train system. At the airport, 14 were killed; 20 more were killed in the attacks on the metro, according to Flemish broadcaster VRT.

A Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle was found at the departure lounge following the attack – the same type used by the ISIS terrorists during the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

Public transportation networks were disrupted throughout Brussels. Security across the European continent has been tightened as well. All flights in and out of Brussels were canceled.

The Belgian Royal Palace was evacuated in response to the attacks, according to state broadcaster RTBF.

Following the incident, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde issued a statement saying they were “Distressed by the odious attacks on Brussels-National and the Brussels metro. Our thoughts are with the victims, families and emergency services.”

Flags at the European Commission — just a few hundred meters away — were lowered. A spokesperson for the commission said Europe was united against terrorism. “We stand together, united against terror and in full solidarity with the people of Brussels,” the statement said.

Israel expressed its support for Belgium as well. “Solidarity with Belgium, the latest victim of the hatred unleashed by Islamic extremism,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon tweeted.

Security experts warned of possible copycat attacks being carried out in other European cities; in response, London and Paris raised their alert levels. In London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt security was tightened.

French President Francoise Hollande condemned what he called the “heinous” attacks, saying it was really Europe that had been targeted. Hollande added the whole world should be concerned, calling the terrorism a “global threat which necessitates a global response.” At Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris armed guards and other military personnel boosted security there and at other borders.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK would do all it could to assist Belgium in the crisis, as London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports bristled with upgraded security. “I am shocked and concerned by the events in Brussels,” Cameron tweeted shortly after the news broke. “We will do everything we can to help.” The British prime minister is set to meet Tuesday evening with the counter terror Cobra committee.

The countries of Europe need to “stand together “ against terror, Cameron said. “We face a very real terrorist threat right across the different countries of Europe and we have to meet that with everything we have.” A united front is needed “against these appalling terrorists to make sure they can never win,” he added.

The British prime minister spoke with his Belgian counterpart to offer condolences and security support. The UK threat level, meanwhile, remains at “severe,” meaning an attack is assessed to be highly likely, according to The Guardian news site. Additional police officers have been deployed around London.

Condemnations of the attack and statements of condolence poured in from around the world, including from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani.

CNN bureau anchor Max Foster in London was blunt in pointing out that the terror group was carrying out its declared intention to conduct a jihad against Western civilization – beginning with Europe.

The attack on a major European city was not unexpected, Foster said; the head of counter terror in London was “expecting it at some point.” This might be it, Foster said, “some big spectacular attack in multiple locations on a European city.” It could be anywhere.

“This is an attack on Western lifestyle now,” Foster said. “It’s not the lone wolf radicalized online that we’ve been hearing so much about in the past.” This is something else, he pointed out. It’s a military-style operation – trained attackers with a strategy.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Okays Incoming Flights from Europe

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Israel unlocked its temporary ban on incoming flights from Europe at about 12 noon on Tuesday following a massive terror attack at the departure hall of Zaventem Airport in Brussels a few hours earlier.

However, it is not clear whether the incoming flights will be allowed by the local airports to depart, depending on the various security restrictions currently in place. In addition, there may be restrictions on which air space may be used in flights out of Europe due to the security situation.

Israel had issued a temporary ban on all incoming flights from Europe in the wake of a massive explosion shortly after 8 am near the American Airlines desk at the departure hall of Belgium’s Zaventem Airport in Brussels.

The ban had been scheduled for 10:30 am until midnight (Tues. Mar. 22), at least until the security situation was clear.

Outgoing flights from Israel to Europe were not affected by the security measure.

The Israel Aviation Authority (IAA) opened a situation room at Ben Gurion International Airport to manage the ongoing crisis and help keep airline passengers updated.

Passengers were asked to have patience with the extra security measures and to check the schedule board at the airport for updates.

Three flights were set to arrive in Israel today from Brussels. According to the IAA, a total of 24 flights were affected by the ban.

Hana Levi Julian

11 Dead in Suicide Bombing at Belgium Airport, 15 Dead in Train Attack [video]

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

At least 11 people were killed and 35 were wounded in a twin terror attack at 8 am Tuesday morning in the departure hall of Zaventem Airport in Brussels. Another 15 people were killed and 55 wounded in the related metro attack.

Three suicide belts packed with explosives were found by police at the airport, according to local television news reports quoted by Sputnik. A suicide bomber was responsible for one of the blasts, Belgian broadcaster VRT reported.

Several Israelis were in the airport at the time of the explosion but all managed to exit safely with other travelers.

Map of Zaventem Airport in Brussels at time of explosions.

Map of Zaventem Airport in Brussels at time of explosions.

Two explosions were heard at the airport, coming just four days after Salah Abdeslam, the mastermind of the Nov. 13 ISIS attack on Paris, was captured in Brussels.

A United Hatzolah volunteer was at the Brussels airport at the time of the explosions. He described the scene: “At the time of the explosion I was praying at the synagogue in the airport. We felt the explosion. We exited the synagogue in order to see what was happening and we joined the stream of people who were being ushered by police to exit the terminal.

People at the scene said they heard gunshots and screaming in Arabic before the attack, according to media reports.
All airports in the country were shut down pending further developments.

Three explosions tore apart trains at separate locations on the Brussels metro system about a half hour after the initial attack at Zaventem Airport. Due to the obvious risk, the Brussels metro system was shut down and the country’s security leaders activated Level 4, the nation’s highest alert.

Hana Levi Julian

Prime Paris Attack Mastermind Abdeslam Salah is Caught

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Prime ISIS Paris terror mastermind Salah Abdeslam, arrested in Brussels last Friday, was charged on Saturday with terrorism offenses in connection with the attacks on November 13.

Abdelslam has been connected with the attack as a key member of the ISIS terror organization that attacked the French capital in a multi-site operation whose ripple effect still reaches out.

Abdeslam told police during questioning he was supposed to blow himself up – as did others – at the Stade de France.

But at the last minute, he told interrogators he had second thoughts and backed out.

The French national, born to Moroccan parents in Belgium, once ran a bar with his brother Brahim in Molenbeek, who also helped in the attacks. But it was Abdeslam who rented the cars involved in the attacks and booked the hotel rooms used by the operatives.

French prosecutor Francois Molins said at a news conference in Paris on Saturday the would-be bomber’s claims raise further questions about the scope of the operation.

Suicide bombers blew themselves near the national stadium, operatives opened fire on bars and restaurants, and terrorists were firing Kalashnikov assault rifles into a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall that night.

He was shot and injured in a raid by anti-terrorism police in the Molenbeek area of Brussels last year, where he grew up. But Abdeslam still managed to stay hidden, according to the British Guardian newspaper.

Three suspects were arrested altogether, but Abdeslam would be extradited to France. The probe is wide and ongoing because the network is “very large in Belgium, France and other European countries,” French President Francois Hollande told reporters on Friday.

“We know there are links which always lead us to Syria, where the Da’esh (ISIS) extremists planned these attacks.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Christian State’ Threatens to Kill Muslims in Belgium

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

The Islamic State now has competition, called the “Christian State.”

The anonymous “Christian State” group has sent a threatening letter to Belgium’s major mosque and two other mosques, warning that it will murder Muslims.

The precise language of the letter is:

No mosque and none of your businesses will be safe. Brothers [Muslims] will be slaughtered like pigs and crucified as our Lord converts their souls.

Belgian Muslim leader Jamal Habbachich said he will file a complaint with the police over the threatening letters,, which he called “very serious.”

One of the letters reached the Attadamoune mosque, a major Islamic institution and located in the same  Molenbeek district that is connected with the Islamic State (ISIS) massacres two weeks ago in Paris that killed 130 people.

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel has threatened to close “certain radical mosques” in the Molenbeek neighborhood.

The Brussels’ Grand Mosque was evacuated on Thursday after packets of white powered were found. It was s false alarm. Investigators discovered that the powder was flour.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/christian-state-threatens-to-kill-muslims-in-belgium/2015/11/28/

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