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Tag: brussels

A Week Before the Brussel’s Terror Attack, FBI Warned Dutch Police about Jihadist Brothers

Brussels

Brussels

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A week before the Brussels terror attack, the FBI supplied Dutch police with information about two brothers who blew themselves up in the massacre.

Dutch authorities passed on the critical information about Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui to their Belgian counterparts on March 17, the New York Post reports. 

“On March 16, the FBI informed Dutch police over the fact that both brothers were sought by Belgian authorities,” Dutch Interior Minister Ard van der Steur wrote after legislators asked about the Brussels residents.

The interior ministers said the FBI warned Dutch officials about Ibrahim’s criminal background” and that Khalad was wanted for “terrorism, extremism and recruitment.”

Although the interior minister said the information was shared with Belgian authorities, police there denied the brothers were part of the conversation.

The missed opportunity has provoked criticism about missteps and missed chances in the days before last week’s Brussels attacks.

FBI Director Comey: Brussels Attacks Likely Won’t Inspire Copycats in U.S.

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey said there’s no evidence that the terrorists behind the Brussels attacks are connected to anyone in the U.S.

The FBI has been looking for any indication of copycat attacks and so far has found none, NBC News reports. 

Counter terrorism authorities had known of the two brothers who carried out suicide bombings in Brussels this week, and they were listed as a potential terrorist threat in U.S. databases.

Comey said he doesn’t believe the Brussels attack will inspire copycats.

“I am an optimist, but I actually think that it may have the reverse effect,” he said

“When people see images of innocent men, women, and children being slaughtered around the world, I hope that will reinforce the notion that the Islamic State, so-called, is not engaged in some heroic, romantic battle on the side of good, but instead they’ll see it as a bunch of savages occupying a space that’s hell on earth right now.”

FBI Sends Special Teams of Agents to Help Investigate Terror Attack in Brussels

Flag_of_Belgium.svgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping Belgian officials investigate the terror attacks in Brussels, Fox News reports. 

A team of agents from the New York field office will help conduct interviews to gather intelligence on the bombings.

The FBI’s Evidence Response Team from the FBI Lab in Virginia also are being dispatched.

Agents also will share intelligence from U.S. databases.

The special teams have some of the best forensic experts in the world.

Security Experts Harshly Criticized Donald Trump’s Response to Terrorism in Brussels

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday morning, Donald Trump made a series of statements that have confirmed the suspicions of many terrorism experts: The Republican frontrunner’s rhetoric doesn’t translate well into good foreign policy.

That’s what many security experts said following a day full of comments from Trump, The Washington Post reports. 

Just hours after the bombings, Trump was asked what he would do if he were the president.

“I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what’s going on,” Trump said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “We have to be smart in the United States. We’re taking in people without real documentation, we don’t know where they’re coming from, we don’t know what they’re — where they’re from, who they are.”

On NBC’s Today, Trump said he would use waterboarding and other torture techniques to gather information.

“Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” Trump told Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer when asked about what techniques he favored. “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.”

Security experts responded with harsh criticism.

Michael Chertoff, who served as secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush, said Trump’s ideas were “preposterous.”

“First of all, we have a much, much tougher refugee program than the Europeans have,” Chertoff said. “The problem the Europeans have is people showed up on their doorstep — hundreds of thousands, coming directly from the region. That does not happen in the U.S. We check people very carefully before we admit them as refugees.”

Terrorism expert Malcom Nance said Trump’s heated rhetoric was endangering U.S. intelligence and armed forces.

“Donald Trump right now is validating the cartoonish view that they [Islamist militant groups] tell their operatives and that they tell their terrorists,” Nance said. “That the United States is a racist nation, xenophobic, anti-Muslim, and that that’s why you must carry out terrorist attacks against them.”

U.S. Warns Travelers of ‘Near-Term’ Attacks in Europe After Terrorism in Brussels

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. authorities have issued a warning to Americans traveling to Europe that “near-term” attacks are possible throughout the continent.

“Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation,” said the State Department alert, which expires on June 20, reports ABC News. 

“U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation.”

The warning urged Americans to take caution “during religious holidays and at a large festivals or events.”

The TSA also is beefing up security at major city airports and at rail and transit stations nationwide following the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday.

Homeland Security officials said there are “no specific, credible intelligence of any plot to conduct similar attacks here in the United States.”

“That said, we remain very focused on the threat posed by lone terrorist actors who may lack direct connection to a foreign terrorist organization,” said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in a statement.

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