Terror in Brussels

Meredith Crockett

At 7:58 a.m. Tuesday, March 22, two suicide bombers, 37 seconds apart, targeted a public area of the Brussels Airport in Zaventem killing at least 10 people. About an hour after the first explosions, 27 year-old Khalid El Bakraoui detonated a similar suicide bomb on the platform of popular Brussels subway at the end of rush hour. This second attack killed an astounding 27 people and left over 90 wounded and hospitalized. The casualties of this 3-bomb rampage came from a wide variety of countries including Belgium, Colombia, France, Britain, Spain, and the US. Police and authorities said the job of identifying and counting the dead following the attacks was slowed due to the violent nature of the blasts and the red tape and confusion that comes from casualties of foreign visitors (bbc.com). Within the day, ISIS claimed responsibility for the onslaught on their social media platforms Telegram and Twitter thus confirming suspicions of the continuation of ISIS movements across Europe. The brothers who carried out the attacks were said to have strong ties with the Paris attacks and the Islamic state (nytimes.com). Several world leaders, including President Obama, have denounced these acts along with the multitude of other acts of terrorism committed in our global community. At a speech in Havana, Cuba, president Obama stood by his ideal of global unity in the face of ISIS stating, “We stand in solidarity with them [Brussels] in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people.” He then went on to say, “This is yet another reminder that the world must unite, we must be together.” (usatoday.com). In 2014 alone 32,700 people were killed in terrorist attacks worldwide, nearly twice as many as in 2013 (economist.com). These numbers, astounding as they are, are nothing compared to the number of deaths boasted by the Islamic State and its allies through the next year. Throughout the globe, ISIS is recruiting and campaigning to encourage others to fight to see the beginning of a new Islamic caliphate restored in our world. Brussels marks a new turning point in the world of global terrorism. Now, our notion that terrorism is contained in the deserts and depths of the Middle East is shattered and proven to be a fallacy. Our allies and United Nations can no longer ignore the threat of ISIS. If we are to hold true to the Geneva Code and international human rights law, we can not allow the persistence and success of militant extremist to fall to the back burner. Brussels and the lives lost there must be a constant reminder that our nation, its wealth, and its resources can not stand idly by while innocent lives are being slaughtered, trafficked and misplaced all across the globe. As a human race, we must no longer bury our heads in the proverbial sand of ignorance but instead lose our partisan bias in pursuit of creating a better world for future generations across all borders, nations and religions.

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