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Crime News

Terrorist Attack In Brussels Airport and Metro Station: At Least 34 Dead (mirror.co.uk) 1011

SomeoneFromBelgium writes: This morning there was a double bomb explosion in Brussels, Belgium. In the National Airport entrance hall an estimated 13 people were killed by a big explosion; around the same time another bomb exploded in Metro station 'Maalbeek,' close to the financial district, killing an estimated 10 persons. Note: story updates bump this figure ot at least 34 deaths. Reader jones_supa adds Shots were fired and Arabic shouted before the blasts, suggesting a terrorist attack. Video and images on social media showed smoke rising from an airport building and shattered windows. Confused and shocked passengers fled the terminal to safety as they were evacuated by armed police. Footage showed rubbish littered across the floor. All traffic from and to the airport has been suspended. The airport is monitoring the situation closely and will deliver further announcements in Twitter. Update: 03/22 13:06 GMT by T : According to the New York Times and other sources, at least one of the explosions was set off by a suicide bomber. Slate has an actively updating stream of updates about the attack, too.
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Terrorist Attack In Brussels Airport and Metro Station: At Least 34 Dead

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @08:50AM (#51751525)

    More than 50 people die in accidents on European roads on average per day. These terrorist attacks are horrible, but we need to deal with them as a problem, not let our countries deteriorate in a frightened panic. Any one of us is still far more likely to die in a number of ways that we have long accepted as risks which are ultimately unavoidable if we want to sustain our way of life. We can't stop driving just because people die in road accidents, and we can't stop being free just because people die in terrorist attacks. If you advocate for more surveillance and the erosion of civil liberties in response to these attacks, you are cooperating with the terrorists in their attempt to undermine the fundamental values of our society.

    • by alphatel ( 1450715 ) * on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @08:57AM (#51751579)

      If you advocate for more surveillance and the erosion of civil liberties in response to these attacks, you are cooperating with the terrorists in their attempt to undermine the fundamental values of our society.

      You insensitive clod, we need phone decryption to spy on law-abiding citizen, not terrorists!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 ( 626475 )

        If you advocate for more surveillance and the erosion of civil liberties in response to these attacks, you are cooperating with the terrorists in their attempt to undermine the fundamental values of our society.

        You insensitive clod, we need phone decryption to spy on law-abiding citizen, not terrorists!

        And lets just stop being PC about all this...and get serious.

        The time for profiling has come. Let's face it, this attack has all the markings of another horrible, malicious attack by those damned radica

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:21AM (#51752269)

          I understand your point, but can you point to the last time that a baptist blew themselves up?

          Suicide bombing has long been used.
          The Chinese suicide squads during the 1911 revolution and again during the second Sino-Japanese war.
          Another famous example us the Japanese Kamikaze pilots in WW2.
          Hell, even the Germans did it during the battle of Berlin.

          In all those cases, one group was at war with the target group.
          You cannot deny that Radical Islamic terrorist are at war with you. You are their enemy. Do you think that because you have nothing against them that they dont want you dead?
          Sure, we have our brand of crazies who see the US government as a target. The uni-bomber for example.
          But when was the last time that one of these guys went to a mall or shopping center and detonated a vest to blow up women and children?

        • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:55AM (#51752595)

          If you're serious about this they've already won.

          Ponder on that for a minute.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:10AM (#51751659)

      I abolutely agree with the above... We don't need our freedom to be restricted because of occasional terrorist attacks. If we allow that then they win, we lose. And as stated above, a lot more people die on the road each day, and nobody cares..

    • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:16AM (#51751697) Homepage

      Also note that they didn't need to get anything past airport security to do this.

      Remember that, next time you're being groped by a TSA agent.

      • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:33AM (#51751841) Homepage

        That's exactly why we need pre-airport security screening! How is this not obvious??? Oh sure, someone will say "but what about the vulnerability of the pre-airport security screening queue?" Well, obviously we just need a queue before that. It's queues all the way down. Just keep this between us though -- if the terrorists discover our methods, the terrorists win.

        Ban encryption 2016!

      • I read the summary of this, and my thought was - "I'm shocked it took this long to happen" - That said, I am surprised they just went for the entrance hall and not the security lines.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:39AM (#51752441)

        I run the IT for an organisation that I am not going to link to here because we're already having trouble dealing with the load today. We're based out of the International Press Center, a small tower behind the Berlaymont that also houses the local branches of Bloomberg and the BBC. Half of us (including myself) go through Maelbeek every day since it's the stop before Schuman, the other half come from the other direction. I was in the subway before the one that blew up; I heard the thump and saw the smoke from Maelbeek as I was getting out of the subway at Schuman; I assumed it was an electrical fire or something and went on to work. We are still on "lock down" in our tower, some of the journalists have been here since 6:00AM and nobody in the building has anything to eat.

        You won't see many pictures of this in main stream media, but this is what happened to the subway that was bombed [twimg.com]. The cars in the Brussels subway are arranged with blocks of four seats on either side of a central aisle. There is a door and standing space between each set of 8 seats. The blocks are very solid and designed to protect the passengers in them in the event of a subway crash. During rush hour the seats are full and you usually have about twice as many people standing in the open space. In the picture you can see that the bomb went off in the middle of one of these blocks of eight. I can just about guarantee that those seats were full, so we know where half the subway dead came from right there. It looks like the block of seats just behind that block held together (to the right of the image), even though the shifted some, so I would suppose that those people in that set of 8 survived. It looks like the areas between the explosion row and the surviving row and the explosion row and the bulkhead to the left of the image were not very survivable. I guess it would depend on how much shrapnel was in the bomb and how many bodies were shielding you.

        I go into this detail because I want to make a point: the terrorist will always get through. We cannot get around this situation with more security. There will always be places where people are forced to congregate and you can't secure them. We can't even get people to buy tickets reliably in the subway; forget about frisking everybody with bulky clothes who rides the subway. True, you can't bomb an airliner anymore, but you sure as hell can bomb the new bottleneck at airport security. Yet the PM of France is already calling for greater intelligence cooperation, which we all know is a euphemism for greater surveillance.

        This could have been me: I missed this train by less than five minutes. As one of the people who was targeted today, I would like to ask all Europeans on this forum to make their voices heard in their own countries: WE WILL NOT BE TERRORIZED! We know that the world is a risky place. Don't ruin our liberty and solidarity trying to legislate that risk away.

      • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:46AM (#51752515) Homepage

        I've long said that it wouldn't be long before terrorists blew themselves up before the security checkpoint. I figured they would do it on line for security during a busy day, but the check-in line was (in hindsight) another target likely to cause maximum casualties with minimal risk of being stopped. Are they going to move the checkpoints to the airport entrances now? (Somehow accounting for the fact that people won't have boarding passes.) Then the attacks will just happen in the inevitable line leading up to the checkpoint. That's the main trouble with TSA-style checkpoints: No matter where you place them, there's always another target.

        Of course, the risk of being killed by a terrorist is very low. Worldwide, there were 32,727 terrorism related fatalities in 2014 (the most recent statistic I could find). This is out of about 7 billion people, so your risk of being killed by a terrorist was about 0.0005%. Even if we doubled the terrorism fatalities (perhaps to account for other deaths weren't labeled as terrorism but might be stretched to fall under that), we'd only get to a 0.001% risk.

        Obviously, living in different areas of the world gives you a greater or lower risk. If you live in Iraq, you likely have a higher risk than if you live in Smalltown, Kansas. However, you have a far greater risk of dying in a car accident (1.25 million deaths worldwide in 2013, or a 0.02% risk) than by terrorist.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      No, it's a justification for breaking up the EU and reinstating border controls like we've had for the vast majority of history. Because there was a goddamn reason we had them.

      • by Plumpaquatsch ( 2701653 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:48AM (#51751989) Journal

        No, it's a justification for breaking up the EU and reinstating border controls like we've had for the vast majority of history. Because there was a goddamn reason we had them.

        Yeah, because when Europe had border controls, there was no terrorism. Period.

        • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:00AM (#51752097)

          Yeah, because when Europe had border controls, there was no terrorism. Period.

          Yes, because putting a lock on your door and having a criminal break in your house anyway is EXACTLY the same as leaving your door wide open with a big sign in your front yard reading "Free cash and valuables inside!"

          I mean, are you seriously arguing that because an odd terrorist might get in anyway, that we should just say "fuck it" and open the borders up to invite them in? Because, if that's what you're saying, I want you to call your mother up and tell her that she raised a dumb fuckwad.

        • Border controls seem to work pretty well for Israel... Likewise a policy of profiling.
      • by Zedrick ( 764028 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:54AM (#51752041)
        > vast majority of history

        No, we've had border controls for a very short time, since the WW1.

        It's not 1950 anymore, people move around and the economy depends on it. Hundreds of thousands of Europeans (including me) live in one country and work in another. The temporary border controls between Denmark and Sweden causes huge problems, and does not solve any anything. All these terrorists have valid passports.
      • by lorinc ( 2470890 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:55AM (#51752049) Homepage Journal

        The only reason we had border in EU for the vast majority of history was solely because we kept declaring war on each other every 30 years. I hope we are past this nonsense.

        The only rational and efficient thing we should do isn't going back to smaller incompetent states, but rather having a more integrated union, with more integrated police, law system, information services, and so on. It's time for the Federal Europe, since a global solution is the only answer to a global problem.

      • by sociocapitalist ( 2471722 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:05AM (#51752143)

        No, it's a justification for breaking up the EU and reinstating border controls like we've had for the vast majority of history. Because there was a goddamn reason we had them.

        1) Border controls don't do anything to stop people already in the borders from doing harm.

        2) Explosives are available in the UK, the same as in Belgium, France and every other country in the world - and if someone wants to blow themselves up and take other people with them - they're going to do it.

        Let's say you have border controls between country X and country Y. At any given time, there will be some number of people from each of those countries standing in a line waiting to get home - and thus are a target.

        3) You could keep the EU and have border controls anyway (but see point 2 above)

        Conclusion: Your anti-EU rant is not really applicable here.

    • by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:36AM (#51751867)
      While I agree with you re: no more mass surveillance, let's be clear: terrorism isn't like car accidents, at all. It's not a random event that just happens. It's the end result of conscious human decision-making to murder as many innocent civilians as possible and to scare the shit out of everyone so their very way of life is affected. It's isn't neutral, natural happenstance; it's the deliberate conducting of the worst kind of evil. And because it's the result of human decision-making -- meaning, someone is actually *deciding* to kill these innocent people -- it's preventable and it can and must be addressed by us, by civilized people. Absolutely, we cannot throw away any more rights -- but we can't stand by and let this become the "new normal." That's what those evil fuckers want, and we cannot let them win.
      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        My local paper has news stories about three different shootings in my area that happened yesterday. Eh. Shit happens. People are crazy. No way to prevent all of it.
    • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:05AM (#51752139)

      You are correct. We should not need to give up our way of life because a subset of the population is hell bent on destroying it.
      The problem is the radicals are willing to take radical action to achieve their ends, but western society does not have the political stomach to take the actions needed to solve the issues.
      Make no mistake. These terrorist acts will only continue and with greater frequency.

      You simply cannot have that many radicals in a population and expect nothing to happen.
      You must either..
      A. Remove or restrict freedom of moment and Freedom in General
      B. Remove the factors which contribute to a person becoming radicalized
      C. Remove that portion of the population which is most likely to become radicalized.
      D. Ignore the issue and live with constant threat of terrorist attacks.

      I know that in the west do not want to appear intolerant and to a large extent we must tolerate some things we do not personally agree with.
      But not things which are not compatible with western core beliefs.
      We are not at war with Radical Islam. Radical Islam is however at war with us. Unless we fight back, we are going to lose.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @08:50AM (#51751527)
    We need to do a proper investigation to really understand who did what and why, but my initial suspicion is that it was Muslim extremists, likely related to the ISIS terrorists that operate in the Middle East.
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @08:53AM (#51751553) Journal
    It smells like they went into execution mode as quickly as possible after the well-publicized arrest.

    Perhaps anti-terror agencies could take a page from the narcotics police, where they may routinely quietly arrest a suspect to gain intel on his suppliers and customers.

  • by goose-incarnated ( 1145029 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @08:55AM (#51751565) Journal

    Making God Proud Since ... well, forever.

    Honestly? Islam needs to schism the way the Church did so that the crazies that are left are easily identified, and the moderates who don't think of violence in any practical way have their own IslamV2.0

  • by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @08:57AM (#51751575)
    I'll believe it when the Christians, Buddhists, and Jews start repeatedly shooting people and blowing themselves up because someone drew a fucking cartoon.
  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:05AM (#51751629)

    The man sounds on target to me.

    We won't win war on terror: Former French PM [cnbc.com]

    " Europe is taking the wrong approach to fighting terrorism, former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has told CNBC.

    Speaking immediately after a series of explosions rocked the Belgian capital of Brussels, de Villepin said that they were "tragic events" but added that Europe should be showing that it is sticking to its rule of law and can only "reduce" the threat of terrorism.

    "I do believe that our strategy should be very different than the one it is. Much less a military approach than a political approach, trying to find solutions in the Middle East and we are far from doing that," he said."

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:33AM (#51751839) Homepage Journal

    How many of our freedoms have these terrorists killed already?

    • Re:Not again (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:04AM (#51752131) Homepage Journal

      Freedoms are not taken away by terrorists. They are taken away by power-hungry politicians who see opportunity to do so when a terrorist event happens. Get your facts straight.

  • Here it comes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @09:39AM (#51751901)
    How long until we hear how the Belgian police could not anticipate and prevent this attack because the attackers used data encryption? Whether it is true or not doesn't even matter.
  • Islam is a Problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2016 @10:09AM (#51752179) Journal

    When 40% of Muslims living in Britain want Sharia Law (Sharia Law includes death for those who insult Islam)
    When 25% of all Muslims living in Britain support the 7/7 attacks
    When a majority of Muslims support death sentences for those who leave the faith.

    Then it is obvious that Islam has a real problem and is a real threat to the civilized world.

    I know this isn't PC, but multiculturalism should not extend to cultures that want to commit violence against others. The quicker we realize this, the quicker we can stop the problem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tom ( 822 )

      Most people in these discussions miss the most blatant whitewashing of calling mainstream islam "moderate". It is far from moderate. If it were a political party, or a "social club" (like the KKK), it would probably be outlawed in most European countries.

      But religious christians fear that if they allow one religion to be scrutinized and held accountable, their religion will be next.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields