Brussels has been rocked by bomb explosions in which more than 30 people have reportedly been killed. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
The BBC reports:
Twin blasts hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT, killing 11 people.
Another explosion struck Maelbeek metro station near the EU’s headquarters an hour later, leaving a further 20 people dead.
The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attacks in a statement issued on the IS-linked Amaq agency.
The bombings come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main fugitive in the Paris attacks, was seized in Brussels.
“We were fearing terrorist attacks, and that has now happened,” Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium said at a news conference, calling the attacks “blind, violent, cowardly.”
The Guardian is reporting that they are trying to identify three men in connection with the bombing, specifically the man in white with the hat in this photo via Twitter.
— VTM NIEUWS (@VTMNIEUWS) March 22, 2016
According to one witness, they claimed to have heard shouting in Arabic, followed by gun shots just before the bombs exploded in the airport departure lounge. Two of the men in the picture above were suspected by police of having blown themselves up.
A third bomb was also discovered at the airport and has been destroyed, according to Reuters.
It seems quite clear that the Islamic State was retaliating for the arrest of Abdeslam. They even issued a statement that identifies Belgium as “a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State.”
2) #Amaq's statement identifies Belgium as "a country participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State."
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) March 22, 2016
However, politicians immediately seized upon the opportunity to once again attempt to place blame on their opponents. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took the time to say that the attacks followed Donald Trump’s statement that the US should pull out of NATO, and therefore was insinuating that Trump was somehow, in part, to blame for the attacks. Here’s what the Texas senator said.
“Well, I will say, it is striking that the day after Donald Trump called for America weakening NATO, withdrawing from NATO, we see Brussels, where NATO is headquartered, the subject of a radical Islamic terrorist attack,” he said.
I have not supported Trump in the presidential race any more than I have supported any of the GOP or Democrat candidates, but it is plain wrong to politicize the attacks of Islamic jihadists, not “radical Islamists” as Mr. Cruz says, to demonize Trump. There is plenty to deal with in many of Trump’s statements where he has talked about imposing things that are clearly unconstitutional and there are things that we can examine about the man’s moral character as well, but to stoop to this level is just ridiculous. However, Cruz and others have done it before.
Trump issued his own statements about Brussels and what he would seek to do with the issue if he were president. You can read those comments here. Personally, I question whether or not the use of waterboarding actually gets reliable information, especially in light of the testimony of ex-CIA official Jose Rodriguez Jr. concerning Khalid Sheik Mohammed. CIA Director John Brennan claims that these programs “did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives.”
However, the real reason behind the attacks are summed up quite well by Christian apologist David Wood. Wood lays out why there are Islamic jihadists in the first place and why they engage in jihad, and it has nothing to do with Donald Trump and nothing to do with NATO. It has to do with the teachings of Muhammad. Take a listen to this short clip where Wood explains the three factors that must be taken into account so that we don’t get this “radical Islam” versus “moderate Islam” mindset, but rather view Islam for what it truly is.
Wood is right about this. As he points out in the video, the three factors are simple:
- One must believe in Islam
- One must have knowledge of what the Quran teaches
- One must be obedient to the knowledge they possess from the Quran
Again, this has everything to do with Islam and nothing to do with what a political figure said. However, until the West wakes up to what Islam actually is, then we will continue to have these attacks and every Islamist is a potential jihadist just waiting to hatch.