Summary of Brussels Bombings


Working Correspondent – Patrick Spizarny

Summary of Brussels Bombings

(March 22, 2016)

Written: March 27, 2016

  1. Summary. On March 22, 2016, two bombs at the Brussels airport and one bomb in a subway station killed at least 30 people. Police are unsure exactly how many people are involved in the plot. ISIS claimed responsibility. End Summary.
  2. Most media sources estimate at least 30 people are dead.[i] Media estimates place the injured count at 200 to 300 people, with 61 in critical condition.[ii] Two Americans are among the initial death toll.[iii]
  3. The first bombs exploded seconds apart at opposite ends of the check-in areas of Zaventem airport at 0758 local time. The airport bombs killed 11 people. An hour later, a bomb exploded at the Maelbeek metro station in central Brussels. The subway bomb killed 20 people. [iv]
  4. As of March 25, police are questioning eight men in connection to the bombings. Belgian authorities arrested 7 men in raids across Belgium and French authorities arrested another suspect near Paris.[v]
  5. One of the airport bombers, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, is the older brother of Khalid el-Bakraoui, the subway bomber. Khalid was a Moroccan citizen at birth and later assumed Belgian citizenship.[vi] Authorities identified the second airport bomber as Najim Laachraoui, a major suspect in the November 2015 Paris attacks.[vii]
  6. ISIS, via Amaq News Agency, claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group claimed it targeted Belgium because of Belgium’s involvement in the fight against ISIS.[viii] Belgium’s main involvement includes limited airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq which ceased in June 2015.[ix]
  7. Authorities found that the el-Bakraoui brothers rented apartments where Paris attackers met prior to November 2015. Police found DNA connecting Laachraoui to two other apartments where authorities discovered other Paris conspirators were meeting.[x]












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