Perhaps as retaliation for the capture of suspected Paris bomber Salah Abdeslam, ISIS has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that took place in Brussels, Belgium. The bombing left at least 31 people dead and another 330+ people injured.
After reports came out that Belgium law enforcement officials had captured Abdeslam on March 18, two bombs went off several days later at the international airport with another blast going off at a local metro station. It didn’t take ISIS long to issue a statement through the Amaq News Agency, taking responsibility and blaming Belgian officials for standing against its militant organization.
Shortly after the bombings occurred, Belgian officials released a photo of three men who they believed were involved in the bombings at the airport. After a local taxi driver called in and reported having picked those same three men up in the city’s Jette neighborhood, police flocked to the area and began investigating.
Over the next couple of days, Belgian police began a series of raids in the area, which has long been believed to be a hotbed of terrorist activities. The raids resulted in the detaining of at least six people believed to have known about or had knowledge of the bombings. They also found additional explosives that may have stored by one or more of the suspects.
To date, police have used video surveillance to identify five suspects, three of whom died as suicide bombers. The dead terrorists have been identified as Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakroui (brothers) and Najim Laachroui. The other two unidentified suspects are still at-large.
As information about the Bakroui brothers began to surface, it was clear mistakes had been made as Ibrahim had recently been inexplicably released from a Belgian prison after serving only a small portion of a nine-year sentence for robbery and firing at police. He had been deported to The Netherlands, yet ended up back on Belgian soil.