"Ik ben Bruxellois". Tonight, all Parisians are Bruxellois, their still-heavy hearts going out to another city torn by hate. Francophone Europe is once again reeling but once again is refusing to go down for the count. In their own way, Bruxellois are defying fanatical violence, coming into the public space to mourn, to express solidarity, to demonstrate determination, to resist.
This evening buses and trams were getting back to their rounds, and even one of the subway ines (line 2) is resuming limited service. National officials have declared three days of mourning for the more than thirty innocent lives claimed by these odious attacks.
Similar m.o.’s and a familiar degree of sophistication indicate close ties between the Paris attacks and today’s crimes in Brussels’ airport and subway.
It seems clear that as police work to identify the exact nature of the explosions (preliminarily judged to be suicide bombings), pursue a figure identified in airport video footage, and follow up leads accumulated since last year and especially since Saturday’s arrest of Paris terrorist Salah Abdeslam, that their efforts are benefiting from increased cooperation and flow of intelligence between Belgian and French officials. Earlier this evening a dangerous explosive was discovered in a outlying area of Brussels known to have been frequented by Abdeslam.
Finally, it is not just Belgium mourning this evening but Europe, many of whose citizens count among the dead and wounded here in Europe’s capital.