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ISIS claims responsibility for attacks in Brussels: At least 30 dead, more than 250 injured
Earlier this morning, bombs exploded in the Belgium capital at the international airport killing at least 10 people and at the Maelbeek metro station killing at least 20, while injuring more than 250 people. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, Brussels was effectively locked down. All flights were canceled, public transportation was shut down and residents were told to stay indoors. Two explosions struck the departure lounge of Brussels Airport. The first was a suicide bombing that took place outside the security checkpoints for ticketed passengers and near the airline check-in counters. The second remains under investigation. A third bomb was left at the airport but didn't go off. Belgian authorities have shared with security counterparts in the United States and elsewhere the names of several people believed to have some role in the attacks, according to multiple U.S. officials. The names are being run through databases of suspected or known terrorists.
With the violence in Brussels marking another location for brutal ISIS attacks, Republican candidates responded to the situation stating their plans on how to deal with terrorism. Front-runner Donald Trump, who has made immigration and security issues central to his 2016 presidential bid, described the scene as a “disaster” and warned that “this is just the beginning.” Trump continued his statement:
“I will tell you, I've been talking about this a long time, and look at Brussels. Brussels was a beautiful city, a beautiful place with zero crime. And now it's a disaster city. It's a total disaster, and we have to be very careful in the United States, we have to be very careful and very vigilant as to who we allow in this country.”
When asked about how the U.S. should go about getting more information about potential future attacks, Trump reiterated his idea of bringing back waterboarding. "Frankly the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or have the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” the Republican front-runner said on NBC's "Today" show. “I would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do. You know, we work within laws. They don't work within laws - they have no laws. We work within laws. The waterboarding would be fine, and if they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz called for law enforcement in the U.S. to clamp down on Muslim neighborhoods in an effort to stop them from becoming “radicalized” after the terror attacks in Brussels. In a statement posted to his Facebook account, Cruz criticized European nations for allowing migrants into their countries, stating:
“Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighborhoods. We will do what we can to help them fight this scourge, and redouble our efforts to make sure it does not happen here. We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence. We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.”
As world leaders learned of the attacks, they expressed their condolences with the victims and spoke about the importance of combating terrorism. President Barack Obama, who was on his historic trip to Cuba, spoke about the attacks Tuesday morning. "This is yet another reminder that the world must unite," he stated. "We must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism."