Brussels 'Like a Warzone' After Explosives, Chemical Weapons Found
One tweet says "Metro closed, all football games cancelled and city center looks like military base.
#Brussels 2015 #Bruxelles 7:13 PM - 21 Nov 2015
by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2015 18:19 -0500
In the aftermath of last night's warning of an "imminent" terror threat in Brussels when OCAM Crisis Center and the government raised the country's terror alert to the highest level, today the escalation continues and the Belgian capital looks like not only a ghost town but something out of a Call of Duty warzone after authorities deployed special forces, and APCs, shut the metro, locked down shopping centers, closed sporting events, and warned the public to avoid crowds, train stations, airports and commercial districts because of a "serious and imminent" threat of an attack.(..)
The reason for the dramatic escalation is that chemicals and explosives were among the items found in the during a police raid on Vandepeerboom Street area in the immigrant neighborhood of Molenbeek, a rundown area where Paris attacker Abdelhamid Abaaoud was suspected of operating a terrorist cell.
The invasion of Belgium by the Germans was a key turning point in the war which expanded it globally.
I was in college at the time, so I spent my summers there. Neat city.
Even then (mid-90s) there was starting to be some definite trouble spots - One part of town would regularly have street brawls between skinheads and Moroccans. But it was nothing like it appears to be now.
would not know what "tragic" and "become" mean. Neither do I, for that matter. Maybe more than a little exaggerated? Don't forget, by far-far most of the couple million people who live in Paris, for instance, heard about the attacks at home through the news media. Just like us.
And looking back, remember the 1970s and 1980s, when all those airplane and cruise ship hijackings took place? That was only going to get worse, too, right? Until we ran out of airplanes and ships and the world came to an end or something?
Perspective is a good thing. So is recognition that problems tend to generate action to create solutions. Almost always, in fact. They don't just get worse and worse and worse until The Tragic End.
I have traveled extensively throughout Europe and terrorism was the last thing on my mind. It just didn't happen as often as it does now. It may have happened before, but it isn't directed toward the general public like it is today.
not that I feel there will necessarily be one of course, people will once again travel without thinking about it. My guess is that the destabilization caused by global warming is going to keep things stirred up for some time to come, but Europe will still be Europe.
You know, our grandparents' grandparents in Europe and elsewhere lived with the hideously real possibility of their and/or their families dying suddenly literally at any time from the epidemics of cholera and other diseases that swept through cities year after year and killed many thousands at a time, in addition of course to all the other accidents and illnesses that kept average lifespans so short.
Terrorism may be sort of like cholera, which became epidemic with the growth of cities, but so far it is absolutely nothing compared to the specter of tens of thousands dying at any time that was once normal. And this when populations were a very small fraction of what they are now.
I've lived next door to you guys for 65 years, and I don't recognize you any more.
Well, that's not quite true. I'm just old enough to remember 1964...
Very detailed and informative.
Thanks for posting.
France 24 is covering this on the live English feed right now, in case you're interested:
I read earlier on non-biased source that it was because Salah was there with a suicide vest and there was talk about going out in a blaze of glory.
Brussels is on max alert because of infos about an operation which was to mirror that in Paris, described as a
"risk of terror attack by persons with weapons and explosive devices, maybe in different locations at the same time"
by Charles Michel, Belgian Prime Minister.
not just the one suicide vest that Salah Abdeslam chickened out of detonating on the 13th in Paris.
Confirmed here by a leading newsmagazine in France:
When I was a kid we had great fun.
We'd play with rust, some aluminum filings, and some old magnesium ribbon.
I mean, these are harmless.
Except together they make thermite, which at least used to be used as an anti-tank and anti-bunker weapon because it can chew through concrete and armor.
Most of the chemicals sold to Saddam came from Europe and they were harmless. Harmless precursors to chemical weapon production. I lightly gassed myself once by trying to clean a toilet with harmless bleach and ammonium hydroxide. That releases chlorine gas. Which is one of the much bally-hooed chemical weapons from WWI and also used by Assad against rebels in Syria (had to be Assad, how could the rebels possibly produce chlorine gas since it takes highly sophisticated equipment. Like, perhaps, a toilet.)
My friend and I made other explosives, too. In fact, while we didn't have access to the Terrorist Cookbook in many ways we didn't need it. Nor were we terrorists, however much the holes in my friend's newly poured backyard sidewalk may have shouted otherwise. (Okay, they didn't do the shouting. My friend's parents did.)
The point is that when chemicals are found there are two spins that can be put on them. The first is, "Oh, noes, chemicals--they must be dangerous." That's if you really want to cast the owners in as grim terms as possible. The second is, "Oh, bullshit, those particular chemicals in their current state are perfectly harmless" and therefore will always be harmless. That's if you want to find ways to justify the owners, either because you side with them or side against those you think of as their foes.
In either case, though, what's happening isn't reality-based but is wholly dependent upon what the spin-meister already believed. Which spin-meister is accepted depends not on reality but on what the reader wants to believe. That reliance on belief to help decide what reality has to be makes it faith-based reasoning, even in the absence of a codified set of doctrines revolving around a supernatural being. (Although often such doctrines still revolve around a self-promoted superior being, aka leader, ideologue, or demagogue.)
Someone rise posted that that link is suspect, a RW one, so it could be media sensationalizing it.
Neither down playing not sensationalizing news helps.
And it isn't dichotomous, that chemicals are the eeevvvviiillll or always good. Water is deadly but also necessary for life.
There is a big difference between chemicals and "Chemical Weapons Found".
The subway stays closed, schools are closed, shopping centers are deserted, etc..
It won't make much difference if the attacks are planned with AK47s or Sarin gas.
Their title was wrong, the photos did absolute justice to the situation.
Mostly AK47s, but even RPGs used in attacks against armored cars
French police reportedly seized more than 1,500 illegal weapons in 2009 and no fewer than 2,700 in 2010. The number of illegal guns in France has swollen by double-digit percentages annually for several years, Al Jazeera reported, citing figures from Paris-based National Observatory for Delinquency.
The seizures likely made just a tiny dent in the pool of available weapons. The fact that a Kalashnikov or a rocket launcher can be acquired for as little as 300 to 700 Euros in some parts of the EU indicates their ready availability for [organized crime groups], street gangs or groups orchestrating high-profile attacks resulting in significant numbers of casualties, Europol, the EUs law-enforcement agency, explained in a policy brief.
Many of the weapons flow from Russia via the Balkan states into the rest of Europe including France. Russian firms manufactured the guns and supplied them to armed groups battling each other in Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo. When those conflicts ended in the mid- to late-1990s, the weapons remainedas many as six million of them, according to the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey
It's pretty interesting to look at how the black market affects what guns are around there.
Typically the long guns found on criminals in Europe are all select fire weapons of former Soviet Block origin. And RPG's and Grenades are not unheard of or in some places even unusual.
For a criminal there getting a gun on the black market is just as easy and cheap as it is for a criminal in the US, despite for lower private ownership rates and much stricter gun control laws. But because the flow comes from primarily smugglers dealing in ex military weapons instead of ones stolen or diverted from lawful civilian ownership the guns used by criminals there are far more likely to be actual machine guns or assault rifles capable of full auto fire- something extremely rare to see used in criminal activity in the US. And we very, very see use of heavier weapons like RPG's that turn up more often in Europe.
It sure as hell doesn't look like THAT, though--not normally. This reminds me of Grozny after the end of the Chechen conflict, minus the buildings destroyed by Putin's air strikes.
After the Soviet Union dissolved, Russian soldiers being recalled "back home" from their colonies in Eastern Europe sold everything they could turn into cash, and weapons were the easiest. Tens of thousands of Kalashnikovs, RPGs, grenades, explosives were available at very "reasonable" rates, and Europe's open borders made them available everywhere. One Pole I know was offering me Soviet night vision binoculars with Soviet Army hats thrown in for next to nothing. A little bit of Saudi cash flown in with the diplomatic pouch, and voilà! Instant home-grown invisible civilian army cells armed to the teeth. Some serious training on how to use them, and we get Friday the thirteenth in Paris. There will be others.
I frequently saw soldiers and gendarmes with machine guns in Paris, but they never hid their faces.
Wonder if the fear of retaliation has grown that bad in Brussels?
Read through the rest of the thread.
I miss the mods when it comes to right wing propaganda, juries don't always vote to hide it.