Belgian special services had foreknowledge of terror attacks

Islamic State claimed responsibility for two bomb attacks that killed at least 30 people in Brussels on March 22.

24 March 2016 14:45

The Belgian security services, as well as other Western intelligence agencies knew about possible terrorist attacks in Belgium on Tuesday, Israeli online publication Haaretz reports.

According to the publication, the security services knew, with a high degree of certainty, that attacks were planned in the very near future for the airport and, apparently, for the subway as well.

Despite the advance warning, the intelligence and security preparedness in Brussels, where most of the European Union agencies are located, was limited in its scope and insufficient for averting the threat.

The terror cell responsible for the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday was closely associated with the network behind the series of attacks in Paris last November.

It was reported earlier that terror attacks occurred at Brussels’ Zaventem airport and Maalbeek subway station on March 22. Two blasts occurred near an American Airlines desk at the airport’s departure lounge and another one outside a subway station near EU institutions.  One more blast was reported at the Schulman Square subway station.

The terror attacks left at least 31 people killed and 250 injured.

The Belgian government has officially recognized the attacks, which left 34 people killed and 200 injured, acts of terrorism.

It was reported earlier that Belgian police identified terrorists responsible for a terror attack at Brussels airport as Khalim and Ibrahim el Bakraui brothers, both Belgian nationals. Later on, Brussels police identified a third terrorist as Najim Laachraoui, 25.  The man has been on the Belgian police’s most wanted list since as early as March 21.