Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, had recently, on March 22, 2016, suffered a terror attack. Three suicide bombers wreaked havoc. Ibrahim El Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui targeted the Brussels Airport, Zaventem. Mohamed Abrini was also a culprit involved with the airport attack; however he fled after bombs started to go off. His fingerprints also shockingly matched those found in the getaway car of the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead and many more injured.
Two of the three attackers were born in Belgium and one in Morocco. All three, however were part of ISIS, an extremist Islamic group of terrorists.
The attacks didn’t end there. An hour after the bombs in the airport left 32 dead, 270 injured, and a country in shock, another bomb went off. The terrorist was named Khalid El Bakraoui, the brother of Ibrahim El Bakraoui (airport attack), who had targeted Maalbeek Metro station. This attack, as well as the previous one, had been unexpected, as no threats had been reported prior to the event.
The attack on the metro station left 20 people dead. With the world still left in shock with what had happened in France just months before, people had not been expecting an attack so soon.After hearing about what had happened, I was devastated. I was scared for my home country that I had always viewed as safe, as my home; now it was targeted so viciously.
One of my friends who had been in Belgium during these attacks says: “Those terrorists clearly want to create fear in our society. They act in the name of ISIS, are religiously indoctrinated and as a result are full of hatred. Their only goal is to kill as many people as possible in the most atrocious way. They are radicalized individuals who want to attack the democratic values such as freedom of speech, and press, in our secular society, that our secular society cherishes so much, as well as our sense of liberty. I remember the fear that I had for all my friends and family, the increase of police, and people watching the news, or listening to the radio, crying”.
What is scary to think about, but at the same time makes me feel grateful, is knowing that my grandfather had missed his metro to Zaventem airport. What is scary is to imagine that he could have been a victim of this attack, and that makes me feel so much more for the families that had felt losses.
These attacks aren’t stopping. Our fear feeds their compulsion to do more harm. ISIS has since continued its tyranny and attacked places like Istanbul and can even be related to the most recent tragedy in Nice, France. The continuation of these acts of terrorism is horrifying, and innocent people have to stop being caught in the crossfire of a belief that is so wrong.