World nations have ramped up security in their major cities and airports in the immediate aftermath of the Brussels Terrorist Attacks. Countries, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, and Russia have issued a high alert in their respective capitals as well as other potentially vulnerable targets around the world.
Across the United States, cities and airports have beefed up security according to law enforcement officials. According to authorities in New York City, Los Angeles, the nation’s capital Washington D.C. as well as Chicago, there is no immediate threat to these cities. However, there are plans in place to enhance police presence, more significantly at airports, public transit systems, and other sensitive locations as a measure of safety and precaution.
In the United Kingdom, where the nature of the threat had been elevated to almost critical levels following last November’s Paris Terror attacks, security measures have been intensified and law enforcement authorities are bracing for a potentially imminent security situation following the atrocities in Brussels.
On Tuesday morning, twin blasts rocked the Belgian capital, killing 20 people at the city’s Maelbeek and Schuman metro stations and 10 others at the Brussels International Airport. According to a Belgian government spokesperson, scores were left maimed following the explosions. The airport was subsequently cordoned off, with all flights ceasing to operate. The city’s entire public transit operations were brought to a halt and the country’s terror alert level was elevated to critical.
According to confirmed reports, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Brussels attacks “in revenge for Belgium’s role fighting militants in Syria and Iraq,” according to a statement released recently.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly summoned an emergency session with top security advisers and law enforcement agencies to assess the magnitude of the threat internally, as well as offer immediate assistance to Belgian authorities in the wake of the disaster. Meanwhile, London has also ramped up security in the metropolis, according to mayor Boris Johnson.
“We are stepping up a presence at transport hubs and major airports, but that is purely for the purpose of reassurance and does not reflect any intelligence we have about a threat to London.”
In Germany, police are reported to have cordoned off a terminal area at the airport in Frankfurt owing to a possible security threat. The embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, DC, has also boosted security, a spokesman for the embassy has confirmed. While the Austrian law enforcement agencies have tightened security at the international institutions and high-risk areas throughout the country, the French authorities, themselves all too familiar with the horrors of urban terrorism, owing to the tragedy that had unfolded in Paris back in November, have amplified transport security in Paris. On the eve of Friday, November 13 last year, gunmen and suicide bombers massacred 130 people at a Paris concert hall, stadium, restaurants and bars, simultaneously wounding hundreds.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials have not alluded to any serious indications of a looming terrorist strike on U.S. soil.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has been entrusted with safeguarding the U.S. from domestic terrorism, has urged “public vigilance” in a statement released recently.
“The Department of Homeland Security is closely monitoring the unfolding events in Brussels and we remain in contact with our counterparts in the region. DHS will not hesitate to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people.”
Meanwhile in Brussels, Belgium security forces have reportedly stiffened security at the country’s nuclear plants across the country following the deadly strikes in Brussels, according to an agency update.
“Surveillance is stepped up with added security measures at nuclear plants. Vehicles are being checked with police and army on site,”
U.S. President Barack Obama, who is presently in Cuba on an official visit, has strongly reiterated his support for the people of Belgium.
“The United States will do whatever is necessary to support. This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,”
Meanwhile, U.S. officials stated that the country was indeed “concerned” about the potential strike prior to the attack, particularly in the aftermath of Brussels terror-related arrests carried out recently.
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