A prominent analyst has called the attacks on the Belgian capital, Brussels, “highly coordinated” and bear the hallmarks of the Islamic State.
The Brussels attacks bear the hallmarks of the Islamic State militant group, according to Belgian jihadist analyst Pieter Van Ostaeyen. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet.
Van Ostaeyen told Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad newspaper he was surprised by the nature of the operation.
“I had expected that something would happen but not on this scale. This is really highly coordinated” he told the newspaper.
He said the attacks were most likely a response to the counter-terror operation in Brussels last week, including the arrest of a prominent figure in the November 13 attacks in Paris, Salah Abdeslam, and that they were probably “pulled together at very short notice”.
Meanwhile, the Belgian federal prosecutor Fredere Van Leeuw has confirmed that the three explosions this morning – two at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport and one in the Maelbeek metro station – were terror attacks.
The anti-terror section of the federal prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal investigation, the prosecutor’s office said.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called the attacks “blind, violent and cowardly”, saying they were a “tragic moment in our country’s history” and calling on the people of Belgium to “show calmness and solidarity”.