Many important details of the deadly terrorist attacks on airport and metro facilities in Brussels, Belgium, this morning are still unknown, but official reports are listing at least 34 dead, and more likely to die among the scores seriously injured. The terrorist group Islamic State (also referred to as ISIS or ISIL) has reportedly claimed credit for the three coordinated bombings, two of which exploded at the Brussels Airport during the 8:00 a.m. rush hour, and the third which detonated about an hour later at the Maelbeek Metro Station near the European Union institutions in the heart of Brussels.
The bombings came just four days after the arrest in Brussels, on March 18, of Salah Abdeslam, who often has been dubbed the ISIS “mastermind” of the deadly Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015.
As has become all too routine, EU leaders and other national leaders around the world condemned the attacks and expressed their sympathy for, and solidarity with, the Belgian people. The pro-EU forces also were swift to condemn any figure who pointed out that the rising wave of terrorism has been facilitated by the EU’s migration/refugee policies that have brought a huge Muslim tsunami into Europe, including among that tidal wave many militants of ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
In Britain, where a referendum will be held on June 23 on whether to exit the EU (known as the “Brexit” vote), the Brexit hashtag tweets prompted an instant “furious row,” as The Mirror put it. “Pro-Brexit campaigners have prompted fury after seizing on today's Brussels explosions to claim they prove Britain should leave the EU,” The Mirror reported. “Newspaper pundit Allison Pearson was branded 'vile' after tweeting: ‘Brussels, de facto capital of the EU, is also the jihadist capital of Europe. And the Remainers dare to say we're safer in the EU! # Brexit.’ "
Mike Hookem, a Member of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), the party that is leading the Brexit drive, said, “I’m appalled at the needless loss of life and injuries caused by these heartless attacks and my thoughts go out to all those affected.”
Speaking from the European Parliament building in Brussels, Hookem, who is the UKIP’s defense spokesman, charged in a press release: “David Cameron says we are safer in the EU. Well, I’m in the heart of the EU right now and it does not feel very safe.”
“The fact that terrorists can strike at the heart of the EU with apparent ease shows that they are perfectly placed to exploit the lax security situation created by Schengen agreement and the EU’s open door policies,” Hookem continued. “And despite the arrest of Salah Abdesalam at the weekend, these attacks should come as no surprise when you consider that the British head of Europol warned only last week that as many as 5,000 ISIS-trained jihadists are wandering free in Europe.”
Moreover, he said: “In Brussels alone there are 94 returned Syrian jihadis living in the Molenbeek area. Add to this the archaic police system in Belgium and a total lack of intelligence sharing and you have a recipe for disaster. That is why I’m once again calling for an immediate suspension of the Schengen agreement, the re-establishment of border controls and an end to the EU’s open door migration policies that have allowed this situation to develop.”
“How many more times,” Hookem asked, “will innocent people have to suffer at the hands of these animals before the EU realise their policies and their responses to incidents such as this are not working?”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who is also a Member of the European Parliament, tweeted, “I'm very upset by events in Brussels today and even more depressed for the future.” He also commented on the 5,000 jihadists who are "at large" in Europe and 94 living in the Brussels district of Molenbeek alone.
Michael Heaver, a top aide to Nigel Farage, said: "Rampant jihadism combined with open borders is a cocktail for disaster. # Brexit "
Farage has for years been warning of this growing terrorism danger in Parliamentary speeches, as in this one last September:
As to be expected, many “progressive” voices condemned reasonable proposals to limit the migrant surge and urged Europeans to guard against “bigotry,” “nativism,” and “xenophobia.”
According to Huffington Post writer Cas Mudde, the Brussels terrorist attack is “the new normal” that Europe must acknowledge with sensitivity to multiculturalism. “The Brussels terrorist attack, just as the related attack in Paris, shows many things, some more important than others,” says Mudde. “First and foremost, it shows that terrorism is the new normal for Western Europe, at least for now.”
“Only if we acknowledge that our multi-ethnic societies,” opines Mudde, “just like many mono-ethnic societies before them, are faced with divisions within each ethnic group, not just between them, can we learn to live with, and hopefully one day overcome, the new normal of terrorism. We have to look inward, rather than only outward, see the problems in ‘them’ and ‘us,’ and realize that a liberal democracy can only thrive if people trust the political system and each other.”
Photo: AP Images