Three suicide bombers blew themselves up in Brussels on Tuesday in the worst terror attack to hit Europe since the Islamic State-organized terror attacks in Paris last November.
Two suicide bombers detonated themselves at the Brussels Zaventem airport, and a third detonated his bomb at the Maelbeek subway station, killing-according to various reports-an estimated 30 people and injuring as many as 130.
The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the terror attacks, according to a news agency affiliated with the terror group cited by Reuters.
“Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station,” the Amaq agency said.
The Belgian Belga news agency reported earlier that shouts in Arabic were heard before some of the explosions, according to the BBC. Supporters of the Islamic State have also been celebrating the attacks by tweeting Allahu Akbar after each attack, and with the hashtag #Brusselsisonfire.
At least one Israeli is reported to be among the wounded. Yisroel Yaakov Yeret, another Israeli and a volunteer for the Israeli emergency response service United Hatzalah, was at the Brussels airport at the time of the attack.
“At the time of the explosion I was praying at the Synagogue in the airport,” said Yeret. “We felt the explosion. We exited the synagogue in order to see what was happening and we joined the stream of the multitude of people who were being ushered by the police to exit the terminal.”
The latest terror attacks in Brussels occurred just four days after Belgian authorities had captured Salah Abdeslam, the only terrorist who survived the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, 2015. Some European officials had warned that further attacks in retaliation to his arrest could occur.
“This is yet another shocking, appalling, and deadly attack on innocent Europeans by terrorists,” said Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress. “These attacks on an airport, train system, and outside European Union institutions are shots at the heart of Europe. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Belgian people at these difficult times.”
Kantor also warned that “we can no longer ignore the fact that radical Islamists are at war with Europe and all Europeans and we call on our governments and law enforcement agencies to act accordingly.”
The European Union’s Ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, also condemned the attack.
“Obviously, it’s a totally condemnable act. I understand that there were also Israelis lightly wounded, so my condolences to the relatives and best wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded. This shows that terror is a global phenomenon and we need to fight it on all fronts,” he told The Times of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in remarks via live video conference at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, called global terror-including the latest attacks in Brussels-“one continuous assault on all of us.”
“In all these cases, the terrorists have no resolvable grievances. It’s not as if we can offer them Brussels, or Istanbul, or even the West Bank…because what they seek is our utter destruction and their total domination. Their basic demand is that we should basically disappear. Well my friends, that’s not going to happen. The only way to defeat these terrorists is to join together and fight them together. That’s how we’ll defeat terrorism, with political unity and moral clarity. I think we have that in abundance,” Netanyahu said.
Meanwhile, American presidential candidate Donald Trump reacted to the Brussels attacks on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends” by reiterating his viewpoint that “we have to be very careful in the United States…and very vigilant as to who we allow in this country.”
Trump has been heavily criticized in the U.S. for is apparent viewpoint that all new Muslim immigrants should be barred from America. Trump has dismissed claims by critics that he is racist, saying again on Tuesday that Brussels used to be a “magical city” and is now an “armed camp.”
”You want to lead your life, you don’t want to be living in an armed camp for your whole life. And there is a certain group of people that is making living a normal life impossible,” he said.