Brussels explosions

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Brussels explosions

Post by shrapnel » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:54 am

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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:22 am

This was posted in the Realistic Zombie Thread and bears repeating.
Close_enough wrote:
Instead of trying for a large area with universal coverage, convergence point of the population provide the low hanging fruit for anybody who wants to wage a NBC attack. Consider the number of times subways have been the targets of terror attacks resulting in mass casualties The Tokyo Sarin gas attack back in 1995 affected over 1,000 people. The Madrid bombing in 2004 killed 191 and wounded 1,800. A travel hub, like the subway, where security is low and the patrons are headed to all directions is like a big flashing "infect people here" sign for anybody intent on starting an epidemic.

Ironically, the "Avoid crowds" advice that pops up every time there is a (natural) epidemic, bombing, or mass shooting might also prove effective in avoiding a NBC attack.
Witness reports on NPR make it sound like two suicide bomber in the airport and another at the subway.

I listen to a streaming station from DC and they mentioned beefed up security on the DC metro. Made me wonder what Kind of security they had in Brussels. I can't imagine there are enough explosive sniffing dogs in any city to cover a subway system.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Stercutus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:37 am

We visited Europe over Christmas and the security at all the European airports and train stations that we visited was pretty comprehensive. I don't recall seeing any dogs with the security forces anywhere we went.

Anywhere touristy such as the Coliseum and the Vatican were flooded with security forces in about company strength. The train stations had 2-3 well armed security personnel extra each, the airports looked about normal, bu tit is hard to tell what is normal these days. Security is expensive. Not having tourists visit your country out of fear of dying even more so.

The ISIS backers and other loonies are going to attack Westerners regardless of whatever else the country is doing. Belgium being proactive got moved up on the target list.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by wee drop o' bush » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:12 am

What disturbs me most about this attack is the speed of this response to the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, assuming of course that this is a response.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Stercutus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:20 am

Tough to say if it is a response. Even so there may have been something in the works that the capture forced their hand on.

That guy was apparently a less committed weak link and they might have thought he was going to roll on the group.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:35 am

Exactly, less a direct response, than a use it or lose it tactic.

That said, you never know just how many cells a terror network has plus the variable of online radicalization.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by 91Eunozs » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:12 am

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's families... Finally heard from the last of our friends still living in Europe (one family in Brussels), and thank God they're all OK.

I can't comment much about my true feelings on this as it will quickly devolve into religious or political speech, but will say that I'm disheartened by this entirely foreseeable outcome from what has become much of Western Europe's recent uncontrolled immigration policy.

When a large percentage of refugees (and I didn't even put quotes around that word) is comprised of military aged males "fleeing" from conflict, alarm bells should have been going off. I'm sure they were for many but those voices went largely unheard...or heard and ignored.

Regardless, it doesn't matter how we got here, the question now is what to do now that we're here.

Entering into further conflict in the middle east is clearly not the answer, but immigration without acculturation clearly isn't working either. Gotta say, I'm at a bit of a loss for a quick solution...or even one we'll see in my lifetime.

I hope and pray cooler heads prevail, but fear this is but the most recent in a continuing series of acts (Madrid, London, Paris, et. Al.) that will eventually propel much of Europe into a mindset we've not seen in two thousand years.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by IANMCDEVITT » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:20 pm

I was in there last week, I just erased a two paragraph write-up, but, no comment.

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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by raptor » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:35 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:Exactly, less a direct response, than a use it or lose it tactic.

That said, you never know just how many cells a terror network has plus the variable of online radicalization.
I tend to agree it was a use or lose it attack. Still I doubt we will ever know with any certainty.

I offer prayers for the dead and injured as well as profane wishes for the perpetrators/organizers.


On a different note there may be another less than dedicated member of the group.
Earlier today, a spokeswoman at the Belgian federal police confirmed to ABC News that a picture they have released shows the possible suspects from the deadly blasts at Brussels’ main international airport today. Now they have said that they are looking for one of the three.

The man that they are looking for appears to be pictured at the right in the group photo.

At least one of the explosives was believed to be the work of a suicide bomber, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor.

ABC News does not yet have a confirmation on their identities or which, if any, are alive. It is unclear how police identified these individuals as the suspects.
Arnaud Feist, the airport’s CEO, has confirmed that there was a third bomb at the airport that did not explode. It was neutralized by police

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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by sheddi » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:32 pm

Terrible news :(

Belgium is sometimes called "the world's richest failed state". There are internal tensions between French-, Flemish- and German-speaking populations, plus a significant number of economically-disadvantaged 2nd- and 3rd-generation descendants of immigrants from Belgium's former colonies.

To some observers it seems as though it's only the EU and NATO influences (Belgium is home to significant parts of both bureaucracies) are keeping Belgium from Balkanisation.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Langenator » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:44 pm

You can move a good bit of explosive when you push it around on a baggage cart...

So, on the close-in tactical said, there remains the problem of how to detect and stop a suicide bomber before he can detonate his explosives, especially in a homeland-security type environment? (Soldiers in the sandbox have, even with restrictive RoEs, far more leeway to shoot a potential threat. Citizens and LEOs are much, much more restricted.)

Then there is the larger problem, alluded to by 91Eunozs, of how to deal with the problem of Radical Islam, and is the Dar al Islam writ large a problem which must also be dealt with? If so, how?
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:34 pm

The news reports make me ponder a few things:

Early reports of lots of legs wounds might square with the theory that the bombs were in luggage in the carts.

There were reports of police doing a controlled detonation of an unexploded suicide belt found at the airport. Either a failure to explode or a failure of will to carry out his mission. He is about to become uncomfortably popular.

Some talking head said it takes a lot of time to plan these sorts of attacks. Really? I'm imaging a bomb maker cranking out two or three vests a month and they just grab a vest and blow themselves up. How much planning do you need to get on the subway or drive to the airport? You just need three suicidal volunteers.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Stercutus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:49 pm

An airport is a harder target than most. It requires a bit of planning and resourcing. Making bombs isn't as easy as the media would have you believe either, at least not effective ones.

Finding a willing volunteer is hard too. In Iraq most of the "volunteers" were drugged to the gills and chained to their car bomb or whatever.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by raptor » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:54 pm

Stercutus wrote:An airport is a harder target than most. It requires a bit of planning and resourcing. Making bombs isn't as easy as the media would have you believe either, at least not effective ones.

Finding a willing volunteer is hard too. In Iraq most of the "volunteers" were drugged to the gills and chained to their car bomb or whatever.

You need 3 airline tickets which are available online. As for the people ... if the done correctly they may not even know they are suicide bombers until it is too late.

If you are not going through security (like these guys) all you have to do is show up with a luggage cart.

Tell the 2 or 3 dupes they are going on an all expenses paid vacation. Do NOT tell them about the devices, simply pack them in a bag and rely on an independent/automatic device. In this case you do not even need a ticket for them because they are are told to go to the check in counter, where presumably the dupes would pick up the tickets when they check in.

The 3rd guy gets them in line and then goes to the bathroom in time to avoid the nastyness and asks the 2 other guys to "watch his bags".

Your key limiting factor is gullible people.
Last edited by raptor on Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Maeklos » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:56 pm

Stercutus wrote:An airport is a harder target than most. It requires a bit of planning and resourcing. Making bombs isn't as easy as the media would have you believe either, at least not effective ones.

Finding a willing volunteer is hard too. In Iraq most of the "volunteers" were drugged to the gills and chained to their car bomb or whatever.
Hell, all Timothy McVeigh needed was a stop at a local farm supply store and a Ryder rental. Let's hope the current crop of bombers don't get that smart.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by flybynight » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:57 pm

raptor wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Exactly, less a direct response, than a use it or lose it tactic.

That said, you never know just how many cells a terror network has plus the variable of online radicalization.
I tend to agree it was a use or lose it attack. Still I doubt we will ever know with any certainty.

I offer prayers for the dead and injured as well as profane wishes for the perpetrators/organizers.


On a different note there may be another less than dedicated member of the group.
Earlier today, a spokeswoman at the Belgian federal police confirmed to ABC News that a picture they have released shows the possible suspects from the deadly blasts at Brussels’ main international airport today. Now they have said that they are looking for one of the three.

The man that they are looking for appears to be pictured at the right in the group photo.

At least one of the explosives was believed to be the work of a suicide bomber, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor.

ABC News does not yet have a confirmation on their identities or which, if any, are alive. It is unclear how police identified these individuals as the suspects.
Arnaud Feist, the airport’s CEO, has confirmed that there was a third bomb at the airport that did not explode. It was neutralized by police

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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Stercutus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:23 pm

It is theorized they were hiding detonators
Hell, all Timothy McVeigh needed was a stop at a local farm supply store and a Ryder rental. Let's hope the current crop of bombers don't get that smart.

You should write copy for CNN.


They built and tested a large number of bombs before making the attack. Conducted reconnaissance, wrote and delivered some propaganda, the whole bit.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by DarkAxel » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:31 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:...snip...
Some talking head said it takes a lot of time to plan these sorts of attacks. Really? I'm imaging a bomb maker cranking out two or three vests a month and they just grab a vest and blow themselves up. How much planning do you need to get on the subway or drive to the airport? You just need three suicidal volunteers.
IIRC, authorities never found the lab that made the bombs for the Paris attacks. If that lab is still in play you are probably right. It is not like they managed to get the bombs into secured areas.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by TheWarriorMax » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:56 pm

Tragedy all round.

My two cents re the difficulty of manufacture.

I read somewhere - it might have been in Unintended Consequences - several IRA guys were trained by specialist dem experts in Libya and still managed to turn themselves into Guinness flavoured hamburger in their home labs.

IIRC, this was part of a critisism of the idea that McVeigh worked alone.

Not easy to make things like this and keep your fingers. The maker is very good and very lucky - no wonder they want to find him/her.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by Maeklos » Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:07 am

DarkAxel wrote: IIRC, authorities never found the lab that made the bombs for the Paris attacks. If that lab is still in play you are probably right. It is not like they managed to get the bombs into secured areas.
TheWarriorMax wrote:Tragedy all round.

My two cents re the difficulty of manufacture.

I read somewhere - it might have been in Unintended Consequences - several IRA guys were trained by specialist dem experts in Libya and still managed to turn themselves into Guinness flavoured hamburger in their home labs.

IIRC, this was part of a critisism of the idea that McVeigh worked alone.

Not easy to make things like this and keep your fingers. The maker is very good and very lucky - no wonder they want to find him/her.
Given these, and the porosity of borders within the EU, what's the chance that these devices were actually made outside of the EU and brought in? Tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, but, say, if Russia had gone back to the Bad Old Days of propping up terrorists that were willing to strike at their "enemies"?
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by sheddi » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:28 am

flybynight wrote:Is it me and my failing eyesight or does the two guys on the left both have only one black glove on?
Well spotted :)

There has been some suggestion (whether by informed sources or by random journalists I'm not sure) that the gloves were to disguise the trigger device for the bombs. I guess we'll find out eventually as the Belgian police release information.

The bombers have been ID's:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35879141
Two suicide bombers who attacked the international airport in Brussels have been named by Belgian media as the brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui. The RTBF broadcaster said the pair were known to police. A third man pictured with them at the airport is still being sought.

Twin explosions at the airport and another at a metro station on Tuesday left about 34 dead and 250 wounded. Belgium is observing three days of national mourning.

RTBF said the brothers were known to police and had criminal records but were not until now linked to any terrorist activity. The broadcaster said that Khalid el-Bakraoui had used a false name to rent the flat in the Forest area of the Belgian capital where police killed a gunman in a shootout last week.

It was during that raid that police found a fingerprint of Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris terror attacks of 13 November. He was arrested in a raid last Friday.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by DarkAxel » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:04 pm

Looks like they found the bomb lab yesterday: Brussels Terror: Belgian Police Find Bomb-Making Factory, ISIS Flag

Seems like one of the pieces of shit being hunted is the bomb maker for both this attack and the Paris attacks: Najim Laachraoui: What We Know About Suspected Bomb-Maker

ETA: Seems like the shit-stains in this cell are a bunch of radicalized drug-addled criminals. IIRC, the Boston Marathon Bombers were involved with drugs before becoming radicalized, too. As if there weren't enough reasons to watch out for druggies.
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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by raptor » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:24 pm

DarkAxel wrote:LAs if there weren't enough reasons to watch out for druggies.

Drugs are common way to finance terror ops. If you are willing to kill people, any moral qualms about making and selling drugs will not exist.

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Re: Brussels explosions

Post by max v » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:52 pm

91Eunozs wrote: When a large percentage of refugees (and I didn't even put quotes around that word) is comprised of military aged males "fleeing" from conflict, alarm bells should have been going off. I'm sure they were for many but those voices went largely unheard...or heard and ignored.
Very true. However in this case the perpetrators were born and raised in Belgium and the brothers El Bakraoui were known to police, though not in an extremist context.

Question is how can you locate a handful of radicals in a largely muslim neighborhood in a multicultural city like Brussels?

As you point out this will become even harder with all the refugees pooring in. Undesireable elements make good use of this influx.
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