Brussels Blasts: Terror Continues to Rage in Europe

At least 20 people were killed and many others injured after a series of explosions, qualified as a terror attack, rocked Brussels’ airport and two metro stations Tuesday.

In an interview with, Evgenia Gvozdeva, programme director at the Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, commented on the attack and its likely causes.

Gvozdeva believes the explosions are not directly linked to the recent arrest of Saleh Abdeslam, who took part in, and was possibly the mastermind of the terrorist attack in Paris last November. “Yes, today’s terrorist attacks are related to the investigation of the Paris attacks on November 13, but they are unlikely linked to the detention of Saleh Abdeslam. They are rather related to the ongoing investigation which has been progressing quite fast following the counter-terrorist operation in Forest, Brussels,” she said in a telephone interview.

On March 15, Belgian and French security forces conducted an operation in the Forest municipality of Brussels, killing one of the Paris attackers and finding fingerprints of Abdeslam who was detained three days later.

“Today’s explosions could not have been prepared in minutes,” Gvozdeva said. “It takes weeks and even months to organize such attacks. Probably, the terrorists realized that police could detect them and decided to act,” Gvozdeva believes.

According to the expert, Belgian authorities have been preparing for possible terrorist attacks, but Tuesday’s blasts, which she called “unprecedented”, caught them unawares.

“Since last November, the terrorist threat in the country has been at level three of four. Police and military personnel were deployed to strategic facilities, including the metro and the airport area,” Gvozdeva said.

“Yes, they knew that an operative terrorist cell could be in Brussels. Unfortunately, Belgian security forces had no particular information as to where and when a terrorist attack could be perpetrated,” she added.
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