Air and rail operations in Brussels were temporarily suspended and a massive manhunt is underway as Belgian police hunt for a suspect caught on airport closed-circuit cameras this morning, walking beside two other suspects.
CCTV’s Kate Parkinson reports.
ISIL claims responsibility for Brussels attacksAir and rail operations in Brussels were temporarily suspended and a massive manhunt is underway as Belgian police hunt for a suspect caught on airport closed-circuit cameras this morning, walking beside two other suspects. CCTV's Kate Parkinson reports.
The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Europe has been bracing itself for an attack like this for weeks.
Brussels attacks triggers global condemnation
World leaders are uniting in their condemnation of the terror attacks in Brussels. The bombings follow devastating blasts in Turkey, across Africa, and the atrocities in Paris last November.
CCTV America’s Nathan King reports.
Brussels attacks triggers global condemnationWorld leaders are uniting in their condemnation of the terror attacks in Brussels. The bombings follow devastating blasts in Turkey, across Africa, and the atrocities in Paris last November. CCTV America’s Nathan King reports.
In Berlin, the famed Brandenburg Gate lit with the colors of the Belgian flag, as was the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
France led the world in condemning the attacks in neighboring Belgium.
“Terrorism hit Belgium, but Europe was targeted, and the whole world is concerned. We need to realize the extent and gravity of this terrorist threat,” French President Francois Hollande said.
From Russia, another a recent victim of terrorism, President Putin called the attacks “barbaric crimes”.
From Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel called the bombings “an unfathomable act” adding that “Freedom is stronger than terror”.
China’s Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also pledged solidarity and support.
“The Chinese side is resolutely against all forms of terrorism. At this critical moment, the Chinese people are together with the people in Belgium and Europe. China is willing to enhance cooperation with Belgium and the world to jointly address threats and challenges imposed by terrorism and uphold world peace and security,” the spokesperson said.
Pausing on his historic trip to Cuba U.S. President Barack Obama also expressed solidarity and support.
“We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible. And this is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,” Obama said.
Behind the words however, lie the fear of a continued coordinated, global threat.
“It shows once again the face of global terrorism that took place in Brussels this morning. And I express my condolences to the government and people of Belgium,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
World leaders have reassured citizens that their governments will win the war on terrorism, but the success of these attacks sends another powerful message, that despite all the intelligence resources at their disposal, governments can rarely predict with precision there or when the next attack will be.
Airports, train stations across United States on high alert
Numerous U.S. airports and train stations are on high alert following the terror attacks in Belgium.
CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.
At one of Washington D.C.’s three regional airports, specially armed police guards patrolled the halls outside the security lines.
Airports, train stations across United States on high alertNumerous U.S. airports and train stations are on high alert following the terror attacks in Belgium. CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.
When a flight from Brussels landed at Orlando’s Sanford International Airport in Florida, U.S. customs diverted the Boeing 767 away from the gate. Passengers were separated from their bags, which were searched on the tarmac away from the terminal.
In New York’s iconic Time Square, New York City Police doubled their presence at subway stations bus depots and train hubs.
Bomb-sniffing dogs and National Guard troops were also deployed.
The goal to make New Yorkers feel safe during their own rush hour commute. New York City’s mayor says there is no specific threat here.
U.S. officials say there were no specific threats at U.S. travel hubs, though one Colorado airport did evacuate its international terminal.
In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has sent additional Transportation Security agents to the nation’s major airports.
Social media reacts to Brussels attacks
An outpouring of grief and sympathy flooded social media sites worldwide after the attacks. CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reports.
Social media reacts to Brussels attacksAn outpouring of grief and sympathy flooded social media sites worldwide after the attacks. CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reports.
Social Media is giving us eyewitness accounts of the bombings and providing an emotional outlet for people upset by the carnage.
At the scene in the metro station: Evan Lamos, a multimedia artist at EurActiv was on a subway car when the bombing happened. He recorded a video of the evacuation on his phone and posted it to Twitter.
This was the scene a short while ago, between the Arts-Lois and Maelbeek metro stations in Brussels. pic.twitter.com/aTZjqsF7Gt
— Evan Lamos (@evanlamos) March 22, 2016
One man posted this:
— julien bloit (@jbloit) March 22, 2016
People around the world are using also social media to try to make sense of the attacks.
On Weibo one person posted this: “ISIS is targeting civilians in Brussels, just like what they did in Paris last year. All countries should unite and fight the common enemy.”
Another wrote: “I visited Brussels last year when people there were celebrating their national day. They were having parades, parties and so much fun. Everyone seemed so happy. Are they OK Will Brussels recover from the attacks Hope so.”
People are circulating powerful images such as the colors of the Belgian flag along with the French flag.
LES ATTENTATS CE MARDI 22 MARS À BRUXELLES.
(Le dessin du Monde) pic.twitter.com/9OCYMhOCpf
— PLANTU (@plantu) March 22, 2016
— All Horizons Travel (@AllHorizonsTrav) March 22, 2016
Images of Tin Tin, the famous Belgian cartoon character, reading news of the attacks and shedding a tear are also prominent as are images of Mannekin Pis, the playful symbol of Brussels dating back to the 1600s, seen standing over a Kalashnikov rifle.
— DailyO (@DailyO_) March 22, 2016
Facebook also activated its “Safety Check” Feature in Brussels so people can let their friends and family know they are safe. And ISIL used social media to post their claim of responsibility.
Belgium’s Ambassador Johan Verbeke on Brussels attacks
CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Johan Verbeke, Belgium’s Ambassador to the U.S about the terror attacks.