By Janice Tieperman
Student Life Editor
The world entered a period of panic and mourning on Tuesday following a new wave of terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium.
According to Greg Botelho and Catherine E. Shoichet of CNN, a series of explosions at the city’s national airport left at least 30 dead and 230 wounded.
“Starting at about 8 a.m. local time, two explosions struck the departure lounge of Brussels Airport in Zaventem,” their report states.
“One was a suicide bombing, according to Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, but the other remains under investigation,” the report continues.
A video on CNN’s website titled “Brussels Under Attack” depicts the chaos during and following the attacks. It continues the timeline of violence, mentioning reports of a different explosion at 9 a.m. at the Maelbeek Metro.
Another report by Botehlo and Shoichet revealed that the terrorist group ISIS has taken credit for these attacks.
According to the article, “Belgian police released a notice that includes a photograph of a suspect ‘wanted (for) terrorism’ and asks the public, ‘Who recognizes this man?’”
Further reports have concluded that the source of one of the explosives originated from a suitcase, which was neutralized by the Belgian army.
“The “working assumption” is that the attackers came from the network behind November’s massacres in Paris, which left 130 dead, Belgian security sources said, while cautioning it is very early in the latest investigation,” Botelho and Shoichet continue.
A visual included in the report shows the geography of most recent attacks in Europe, and which were carried out by ISIS or simply inspired by the terrorist group.
While the only two confirmed ISIS attacks on the visual were those in northern France and Tuesday’s attacks in Belgium, other smaller incidents of ISIS-inspired terrorism have popped up in the United Kingdom, Denmark and other areas of France.
As unexpected and tragic as the attacks in Brussels have been, they were not the only recent acts of terrorism in Europe.
“On March 13, a car bomb in the capital city of Ankara exploded leaving at least 37 people dead and more than 100 injured,” Jon Levine of Mic News reports, “and on Saturday [March 19], an ISIS-connected suicide bomber killed at least four in a busy tourist area in Istanbul.”
James Taylor, a citizen of Ankara, gave an account of the attacks on Facebook that has now gone viral.
“The bombing this evening occurred in one of the most crowded parts of the centre of town, next to many bus stops with people waiting to go home, arriving for a night out and sitting in the park relaxing and drinking tea,” Taylor states.
Even with the lack of media coverage over the Turkish tragedy, a distinct worldview of solidarity is beginning to emerge.
“It’s rather difficult to sum up the situation—and all the emotions that follow—in just one or two sentences,” says Tuna Unalan, a former citizen of Turkey.
“These are disturbing events that are not only happening in Turkey but all over the world,” continues Unalan. “Some receive more attention than the others, and some we won’t ever hear about.”
“My wish is that Turkish people will find the relief and the justice that they have been looking for,” says Unalan. He also expressed hope for a government that “doesn’t contribute to these terrorist acts and turn their heads away while their own people are dying.”
While the some have criticized the response of the Turkish government, the Belgian government has consistently updated the public on the attacks.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel released a statement through social media in French, Dutch and English, calling for a united front against terrorism.
“I strongly condemn these hateful attacks,” Michel declared in his English statement. “Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. We stand united against terrorism.”
The citizens and tourists of Belgium have expressed a similar sense of optimism.
“Things were very tense at first, but hopefully things will be back to normal,” states Virginia Pope, an American student currently studying in Brussels.
“Today was definitely a scary and difficult one, but the people of Brussels are resilient,” Pope continues. “I believe that the city will be able to overcome the challenges it faces after these terror attacks.”
“It is truly awful what has happened,” said Nadia Elsayed, a Stroudsburg High School graduate who was in Brussels Monday night, just before the attacks. “I am praying for those who have lost [loved ones] and for those who are seriously injured.”
The future for both Europe and the global community may currently remain uncertain, but the aftermath of these attacks continues to demonstrate the solidarity, support and brotherhood that exists between nations and citizens on a global level.
Email Janice at: