By: Pablo A. Jofre Leal / The Dawn / March 23, 2016
Tuesday March 22, 2016 is a day that has been burned into the memory of Belgian society. That day, grim and tragic, a double bomb attack against the Zaventem terminal of the capital of this European country and the Maelbeek Metro station, close to the Administrative Complex of the European Union (EU) government, known as the “European Quarter”, brought mourning to hundreds of families.
A heinous crime that deserves the unanimous condemnation carried out against anonymous and ordinary citizens has meant the death of 35 people and 250 wounded. An onslaught of terror that deserves the same repulse as the attacks on Ankara, Sana’a, Baghdad or Beirut, which also carries a formidable symbolic significance that, beyond the tragic, abominable and condemnable nature of the act, we must analyze.
Who does this attack in Belgium benefit?
Brussels is, without doubt, a target with a lot of meaning for terrorist acts. I mention this symbolic aspect because it’s the capital of an European country, an active member of the European Union, the administrative headquarters of its Council, the European Commission and the Parliament of this organism —which also has Strasbourg as the center of its plenary sessions—. Brussels is also home to the main office of President of the European Council —Donald Tusk, from Poland— and to the High Representative for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy —chaired by Italian Federica Mogherini—. This, without doubt, from the military point of view, made this Belgian city into an inviting target.
Belgium is also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), chaired by Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg, whose headquarters is also located in the Belgian capital. This military organization that has been active in air strikes against Libya, Syria and Iraq, mainly.
A terrorist attack in this city reveals a clear provocation aimed to show members of the main Western Military Alliance —with participation in said countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East, where terrorist takfiri gangs operate— that terrorism with Salafist roots can knock on their doors and no European city will be safe.
The military answer will arrive soon and that will mean more deaths in North Africa and the Levant, where the majority of victims are always civilians.
Authorship has already been claimed for the bombings in Brussels: IS has willingly claimed to be responsible for them. We are not speaking of an isolated terrorist who crossed thousands of kilometers to do this, but a takfiri member of this group, who lived in Europe and probably traveled to Syria or Iraq and returned to his county with salafist beliefs.
It’s also important to remember that a majority of members of takfiri terrorist gangs come precisely from European countries.
In Belgium’s case, in an article published in January 2015, based on information provided by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization of Political Violence (ICSR), based in London, the British network BBC News recorded that Belgium had the highest proportion of fighters acting in Syria and Iraq. Five hundred Belgian citizens took part in the IS ranks, among the five thousand European terrorists who left their countries to enlist with the takfiri gangs. The reasons cited by the article to understand their decision to join radical movements like IS and the Al-Nusra Front were economic, cultural, lack of opportunities and discrimination.
IS is almost certainly the author of the attack and the Belgian Barkaoui brothers, Khaled and Ibrahim, have been already singled as the material authors. The Bakraoui brothers are supposedly linked to Salah Abdelsalam, but, who planned this and guided the perpetrators ? Who is behind these attacks? Who is benefits from the killing of 31 people and 270 injured after the shout of Allah’u Akbar ?.
The harsh reality and the lessons of history tells us that in times of shadows, no hypothesis is too far-fetched, even if this means considering the possibility of a False Flag operation. Taking under consideration the recent statements from European governments —mainly France and England— that indicate increased actions and possible direct military interventions to allegedly combat IS in Libya, Syria and Iraq and at the same time stop the flow of thousands of immigrants to Europe under the pretext of protecting the security of Europe’s borders.
Taking this into consideration, is it possible that Western intelligence services and their Turkish, Israeli and Saudi allies are behind guarded, controlled members of takfiri groups and let them carry out their actions to achieve greater political objectives? I don’t rule it out.
On March 21, the Belgian Foreign Minister, Jan Jambon, in a statement that is as tragic as prescient, said to the media —after the detention, in Brussels, of Salah Abdeslan, one of the suspected authors of the attack in Paris on November 13, 2015— that “it is reasonable to fear a terrorist attack revenge for the capture of Abdeslam, which undoubtedly represents a step forward in the fight against terrorism, but does not solve the problem. The IS network is still active in Europe, in France and Belgium”. Indeed, the network is not only active but also fully functioning.
A day after these words were pronounced, Belgian authorities, particularly the Attorney General Frederic van Leeuw, said suicide bombers had detonated explosive devices in Zaventem and Maelbeek, causing dozens of deaths and 250 injured. Criticism against the Belgian authorities and intelligence agencies soon began to be heard. Especially since chancellor Jambon had pointed out, after Abdeslam’s arrest, on March 19, that “the terrorist cell that was discovered could have been on the verge of committing an attack because we found a store of weapons during the operation that led to the arrest of the terrorist”. If this was in fact so, then why did the national alert level remain at 3 of 4? This question will have to be answered by the authorities as the days pass and more information comes to light.
It’s necessary to recall that, in August 2015, IS threatened to carry out terrorist attacks both on Belgian and French territory. The promise was first fulfilled in Paris. The fear that Belgium was the next victim of a terrorist act was not far from reality, and it became true with dramatic results.
Which will be the next target, which city will be the next ?
Russia has warned that the next target could be Germany. “The Brussels attacks are not the last, the next target could be Germany”, warned Russian Senator Igor Morozov, a former officer of the Russian military intelligence service, for whom part of the problem lies in Europe’s policy of “open doors”. Other analyses indicate that the next attack could target an English city, as this country is in close alliance with the United States in its war of aggression against Syria, Libya and Iraq, where apart from their global and strategic military objectives, they have dedicated part of their efforts to combat takfiri bands.
In December 2015, The Daily Mail consigned the opinion of analyst Paul Cruickshank, who stated that “MI6 intelligence reports suggest that British citizens who had gone to Syria and Iraq to join the ranks of IS are returning to the UK to launch attacks”. So have begun the speculations with this fear and the throwing around of assumptions regarding which will be the next city of the Old Continent to suffer a terrorist attack, and there have also been calls made not be clouded by the multiplicity of events and focus on the genesis that allowed the emergence, development and action of these groups. That is, the role played by the Saudi House, riparian feudal monarchies of the Persian Gulf and the intelligence agencies of Turkey, Israel and Western powers, for the sake of their hegemonic interests, which have allowed the birth of these terrorist groups that fight today, seeking to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, major targets of the West in the Middle East and Asia.
In an interesting statement, popular forces in Iraq known as Al-Hasad Al-Shabi, warned that the origin of terrorism in general and the attack on Brussels in particular must be sought in Wahhabism, which is sponsored by Saudi Arabia. “To really fight against terrorism means to fight Saudi Arabia and their Wahhabist ideas”. This group, also known as the League of the Just, condemned the attacks on Brussels, and noted that the terrorist acts of recent months are the result “of the increasing spreading of terrorist ideas that are being promoted by certain countries, and used by certain powers to achieve their owns economic and political purposes”.
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Security and for the Fight Against Corruption of the State Duma, Dmitri Gorobsov, said: “The terrorist attacks in Brussels are consequence of the lack of quality work by European intelligence services. The special services of European countries and Belgium in particular were unable to stop this threat…”, said the Russian deputy, and added “Unfortunately, our European colleagues did not hear Russia’s recommendations after the bombs in Paris and didn’t establish an exchange of operational information between Paris and Brussels, although Paris suggested it”.