28 March 2016
Last Tuesday, three bomb blasts shook Brussels, two of them in Zaventem airport and the third in Maelbeek metro station. Most analyses tend to attribute the attacks to the March 19 arrest of Belgian-born French national, Salah Abdeslam, who was accused of playing a key role in the Paris terror attacks in November last year.
However, there is little evidence to support this claim. The Brussels attacks appeared too complex to have been organised in only four days. Moreover, in claiming responsibility for the bombings, the Islamic State (IS) terror group said they were in retaliation against Belgium’s participation in the US-led air strike against IS, and not Abdeslam’s arrest.
The attacks in Brussels should be seen as a part of the group’s agenda of revenge against countries that are bombing it in Syria.
Its main strategy is to boost its jihadi credentials by making headlines and attracting recruits, especially in light of its territorial losses in Iraq since 2015. Unfortunately, the attack in Brussels will most likely set into place a spiral of violence throughout Europe. Unless tackled through a balanced approach of law enforcement and community-based policies, the Islamist extremist threat in Europe is likely to increase exponentially.
… Aida Arosoaie is a research analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. Related topics addressed in this analysis will be discussed at the upcoming RSIS conference on ‘Islam in the Contemporary World’, which will be held on April 28.
ICPVTR / Online / Print
Last updated on 28/03/2016