Police and counter terrorism units in New York, Los Angeles, and other major cities across the United States remain on high alert after the deadly Brussels terror attacks that killed 34 people and injured another 230.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the brazen attack in a statement that included a warning for all Western nations battling ISIS in the Middle East, according to the Express.
We promise the crusader allies against the Islamic State, there will be dark days in response to their aggression against our state.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 22, 2016
Airports and transit systems, port authorities, trade centers, and public gathering places all saw an increase in uniformed police patrols and undercover agents with guns after Tuesday’s brazen terror attacks.
Air travellers saw an increased number of K-9s patrolling airports, while subway commuters were monitored by security agents both seen and unseen; authorities are asking the public to remain vigilant and stay alert, reports Fox News.
If you see something, say something.
Security experts have begun to warn the American public that terrorism has become more spontaneous and harder to detect, as Olivier Guitta, managing director of the international security firm GlobalStrat, told USA Today.
We have entered an era in which we are going to have to change our way of life and take security very seriously.
There has been no credible terror threat leveled against the United States, but authorities aren’t taking any chances.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 22, 2016
In December, an independent radicalized Muslim couple stormed the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center, killing 14 people and wounding another 22 shortly after the Paris terrorist attacks.
Authorities say the potential for terrorist violence in America is different from that faced by our European allies, however. Countries across Europe have welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees across their borders, thereby potentially allowing some extremists in as well.
Conservatives – and especially Republican frontrunner Donald Trump – have warned against the U.S. accepting refugees, arguing it puts the country at risk of further terror attacks, reports CNN.
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.
— ABC News (@abcnews) March 22, 2016
Brussels, capital of Belgium, is the de facto capital of the European Union and also home to a large population of unassimilated Middle Easterners who refuse to adapt to their new country and culture.
Common wisdom in the United States says the “melting pot” theory of acceptance predominant in America will make it less likely for the type of terror attacks Europe has seen recently, as LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times.
A sense of inclusion keeps people from being radicalized. It is what keeps people from going to the darkside. This is very much a battle between good and evil.
— Robert Kuipers (@ozziebob1) March 22, 2016
The brazen Brussels terror attacks come just days after police arrested Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks, in Molenbeek, a Brussels suburb long associated with jihadi terrorism.
Authorities estimate that 500 Belgians have left their country to fight in Syria and Iraq, making it ground zero for terror recruiters.
It’s these foreign fighters who return home that make Europe a much more vulnerable target than the United States, but authorities in America remain on high alert to prevent another terrorist attack here at home.
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)