In less than one hour, Brussels was hit twice at its very heart on Tuesday. First there was the airport attack which was followed by Maelbeek metro train bomb explosion in Belgium’s capital.
The question that has remained in the minds of most people is why the IS jihadists targeted Brussels on 22nd March and how they were able to execute the attacks despite successes in pining down the terrorists in the 13th Nov Paris attacks.
Belgian media reported that the finger prints of a key suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, were found on a water glass at a safe-house in the Forest.
Authorities arrested him and rumors spread that he may be ready to co-operate with the justice department.
The issue here is that the same IS that planned and attacked Paris decided to expedite attacks that already had been planned in Belgium.
As it is the case of Paris, months would be needed to organize the same.
The attacks led to the death of 31 civilians while 271 others were injured, with some being more severe. Emergency doctors have reported that the shrapnel that was used during the attacks led to devastating injuries.
IS used the same strategy that they had utilized in the previous attacks.
The ultimate aim was to kill as many people as possible. The effect of such attacks is, as always, to be found in what al-Qaeda ideologue Abu Bakr Naji described as “tawahhush” (savagery or chaos). The idea is to destabilize society, create disorder and chaos and take profit from it.
The target of the so-called Islamic State is to ensure that there are chaos and disorder. In Belgium, they hope to cause a division between the Muslims and the non-Muslims.
Islamist networks in Belgium have always operated in a manner to suggest that they are being treated as second class citizens.
Some issues that have always been cited include the ban on wearing full veil in public and also stopping the halal slaughter of animals on private grounds.
Jihadist fighters have thus been leaving the country due to these reasons. Initially, they left for Syria where they fought president Bashar al-Assad.
Now they leave to live, fight and die for the IS “caliphate”.
It is highly likely that even now other IS sleeper-cells are waiting for the signal. More attacks may follow, whether in Belgium, France, the Netherlands or the UK.
We will have to learn how to cope with a constant terror threat and above all learn from what went wrong.