Brussels terrorist attacks 6

According to Le Soir, the death toll still stands at 31 people. There are  300 wounded. Four people are still not identified and about twenty are unaccounted for.

In the meantime, two Belgian ministers have offered their resignations. Prime Minister Charles Michel has refused to accept these.

In the meantime, Turkey told Reuters Agency it had kicked  at least one of  the brothers El Bakraoui out of the country – twice. The last time apparently took place in August 2015. According to Turkish authorities, they warned Belgium about one or perhaps even both brothers.

Not that Turkey kicked Ibrahim back to Belgium. He was put on a plane to its neighbour: the Netherlands. Belgium received some kind of notification from Turkey – a wekk after Ibrahin had landed in the Netherlands.

Nobody in either country bothered to put or keep tabs on Mr El Bakraoui. He was considered an ordinary criminal and thug in Belgium despite being caught travelling between Turkey and Syria – several times. The three countries are still squabling about what exactly happened and went wrong, according to Belgian paper “De Standaard” and Dutch paper “NRC Handelsblad”.

As for one of the other terrorists: he was flagged down by police while travelling to Vienna or some other tourist hotspot. They let him get on with his citytrip as he was travelling under a false name and probably on false documents – or real ones.

The Belgian authorities presume one terrorist is still on the run.

In the meantime, two students from a Laken secondary school were accused of condoning the terrorist attacks. They claimed they were joking. It is of course a fact, that the terrorists were able to hide in communities where people may have looked the other way or even helped them. As became clear during a discussion on one of the Belgian television stations last night, many Belgians (muslim and christian) have had it with a softy-softy approach in such cases. Authorities are therefor investigating the Laken case.


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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