Cowering under desks and running for their lives, this is the terrifying moment passengers were caught up in a suicide bomb attack at Brussels Airport today in a series of blasts that have killed at least 34 people and injured 170 across the city.
Witnesses described apocalyptic scenes with blood and ‘dismembered bodies everywhere’ after two blasts rocked the terminal at around 8am (7am GMT), killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens of others.
Then 79 minutes later at 9.19am, at least 20 people were killed and scores injured, some critically, when a blast hit a Metro station just 400 metres from the EU headquarters in the city centre.
At the airport, there were reports of a firefight between police and the attackers who shouted in Arabic moments before detonating their bombs, one of which was understood to contain nails.
An unexploded suicide vest was later found in the rubble and a Kalashnikov rifle beside the body of a dead terrorist.
The blasts, which detonated near a Starbucks and several check-in desks, sent shockwaves through the terminal building, shattering windows and knocking roof tiles off the ceiling as terrified passengers ran for their lives.
The explosions, coming just four months after the Paris attacks, have left countries around the world reeling, with security services placed on high alert, flights cancelled, Eurostar services suspended and France’s border with Belgium shut down.
Passengers shield themselves under bags as smoke and debris fill the terminal in the moments after the twin blast at Brussels Airport
Terrified passengers run for their lives in a cloud of smoke moments after the explosions ripped through the terminal
A man runs for cover: Witnesses described apocalyptic scenes with blood and ‘dismembered bodies everywhere’ after the two blasts
A terrified passenger cowers under a check-in desk moments after two explosions rocked Brussels Airport in a suicide bomb attack today
An person is carried to safety as troops helped the injured and secured the area after the explosions in the terminal building
A police officer directs passengers in a smoke filled terminal at Brussels Airport after two explosions ripped through the terminal
Fires burn among bags and debris as passengers flee the terminal in the immediate aftermath of two explosions at the check-in desks
FIRST ATTACK: At least 14 people have died and dozens injured after two explosions rocked Brussels Airport in a terror attack today
Obliterated: Ceiling tiles and debris are littered across the floor of the terminal building after twins blast rocked the check-in area
Shocking: Injured passengers are covered in blood and dust after the explosions rocked the terminal building at Brussels Airport
SECOND ATTACK: The image above is being used by the Belgian media who claim this is the damage caused by the bomb at the Maelbeek Metro station in central Brussels 79 minutes after the first attack. It has not been verified but is being widely circulated on social media
Aftermath: A man lies stricken on the pavement as survivors kiss in relief after surviving the bombing at the Metro station in Maelbeek
Two suspects were arrested a mile from the Maelbeek metro station at around 11am as hundreds of troops and police flooded the streets
Two men are pinned to the floor and handcuffed by police as soldiers stand guard near the North station in central Brussels
Two suspects were arrested a mile from the Maelbeek metro station at around 11am as hundreds of troops and police flooded the streets of Brussels in the hunt for members of the terror cell.
Soldiers have been also been deployed at the airport and other key locations across the capital.
The Tihange nuclear power plant, around 90km from the capital, is being evacuated of all non-essential staff as Belgium raised security to its maximum level.
The bombings come just a day after the Belgium Interior Minister warned of possible revenge attacks after the arrest of Paris massacre suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city on Friday.
Photographs from inside the arrivals hall showed the floor covered in fallen tiles and dust as bloodied people hobbled out of the airport. Others injured were photographed lying on the floor.
Video showed terrified passengers running for their lives out of the building.
Firefighters who entered the terminal to search for survivors are said to have found a third unexploded device, while armed police in protective clothing combed the building for more wounded travellers and suspicious bags.
The attacks came just a day after a secret police dossier revealed there could be up to 90 ‘kamikazes’ waiting to launch suicide bomb attacks in Europe after returning from Syria disguised as migrants.
Speaking today, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said: ‘What we feared has happened. In this time of tragedy, this black moment for our country, I appeal to everyone to remain calm but also to show solidarity.’
The British Foreign Office today confirmed one Briton was inured in the explosions, while three American missionaries from Utah are believed to have been seriously hurt.
A Belgian TV station is reporting that at least one of the bombs at the Brussels airport contained nails.
Broadcaster VTM interviewed Marc Decramer of the Gasthuisberg hospital in Leuven, who says the hospital is treating 11 people with serious injuries, three of them in critical condition.
Decramer says the wounded have fractures and deep cuts caused by flying glass and nails.
Samir Derrouich, who works at a restaurant in the airport, told MailOnline: ‘The two explosions were almost simultaneous.
‘They were both at a check-in desk. One was close to the Starbucks. It was awful. There was just blood. It was like the apocalypse.’
Dries Valaert, 30, was waiting to get his boarding pass from a check in desk when the blast struck.
He said: ‘There was a first blast and then ten seconds later a second explosion. It was a big, big blast, the ceiling went down. It was just 30 metres from where I was.
‘I saw people down on the ground and I just went running. I jumped over the security fences towards the departure gates as I thought it would be safer.
‘My first intuition was to get out in case their were attackers with guns. I saw a woman around 18 years old with a hole in her hand with blood pouring out and a man with an injured ankle and two people down. There was lots of panic. People were running all over the place.’
Mr Valaert, who was flying to a business meeting in Berlin, said he believed the bombs were hidden in suitcases that had just been checked in.
He said: ‘The explosions were just behind the service desks, they were blown towards us. To me it is the most realistic possibility. I don’t think it was someone with a suicide vest.’
A soldier walks through debris after two explosion rocked a terminal building at Brussels Airport
Firefighters search the terminal for explosives and survivors (left) as a man lies injured on the terminal floor
A man lies injured on the floor after two explosions detonated near the American Airlines check-in desk
Hundreds of terrified passengers ran from the terminal, some of them covered in blood, after the blasts rocked the building at 8am
Shouts in Arabic were reportedly heard before the explosions which sent shockwaves through the terminal building, shattering windows
Survivors wrapped in blankets leave the scene of explosions at Brussels-Zaventem airport in the wake of the suicide bomb blasts
Blown out: The explosions sent shock waves through the terminal building, shattering windows and knocking roof tiles off the ceiling
Two women comfort each other as passengers and staff are evacuated from the terminal building after explosions at Brussels Airport
Air stewardesses look shocked as they flee the terminal building in the wake of the suspected suicide bombing
Stunned: Staff walk away from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the building in Brussels
Two blasts detonated near the American Airlines check-in desk at Brussels Airport at 8am (7am GMT) in a suspected suicide bombing
Alphonse Youla, who was working on a stand putting security wrapping around suitcases, said: ‘I heard a man shout some Arabic words then an explosion… then a second explosion, a massive explosion, much bigger.’
Speaking with blood on his hands and struggling to hold back tears, he added: ‘It was a horror. I saw at least seven people dead. There was blood. People had lost legs. You could see there bodies but no legs.’
He added: ‘I saw two men face down with blood pouring out of their heads. The injuries were so awful. You cannot imagine. People were so injured.
‘I did not see the man who shouted in Arabic as he was behind me. I just heard the words. I don’t speak Arabic so I don’t know what he said.’
In the aftermath, thousands of people waiting for flights this morning were penned inside the terminal as police sealed off the shattered arrivals hall.
People already checked in were then slowly evacuated through emergency exits – but were told to leave all their hand luggage as police checked bags for more explosives.
Evacuated passengers are being ferried onto buses and are being driven to a ‘crisis centre’ away from the airport, with women and children being moved first.
All flights are being diverted from the airport this morning as it remains on lockdown.
Flights due to land at Brussels-Zaventem, which handles 21million passengers a year, were sent to Antwerp, Liege, and Brussels Charleroi airports.
Europe’s biggest airports are all increasing their security today. Heathrow confirmed it had stepped up its own ‘visible’ security in the wake of the attacks – with large units of armed police patrolling the airport this morning.
American Airlines confirmed that its planned flight from Brussels to Philadelphia in the US, which had been scheduled to depart at 9.40am had been cancelled in the wake of the blasts.
A spokesman said: ‘We are aware of an incident at the Brussels airport departure hall and are taking care of our customers, employees and contractors. At this time, all of our employees and contractors are accounted for with no reported injuries.
‘American Airlines flight 751 has been cancelled for today. When operations at the airport resume, we will re-accommodate our customers.’
Bravery: People are treated, comforted and given water by the emergency services as they help the wounded
Second attack: A person lies injured on the floor after an explosion was heard at the Metro station in the centre of Brussels
Rescue effort: A Maelbeek victim is carried on to a stretcher as Brussels is hit by a string of bombings
Evacuation: Those on the tube network were evacuated from smoke-filled tunnels and walked along the tracks to the nearest station
Panic: Commuters in the Metro described a bang, and a rush of air that made their ears pop before they tore open the train doors and walked down the track to the closest station
Brussels Airport has announced it will be closed until at least Wednesday following two explosions in the departure hall.
Terrorists then blew up a crowded Metro station in the city centre at around 9.19am, killing at least 10 people and seriously injuring dozens more.
Shocking images from Maelbeek station show smoke pouring out of the building and casualties littered on the pavement outside, just 400metres from the EU’s headquarters.
Commuters on the Metro at the time described hearing a loud bang before they were evacuated from trains and forced to walk down smoke-filled tunnels and along the track to the closest safe station.
Emergency services at the scene were carrying the dead and injured out of the station on stretchers.
Alexandre Brans, 32, who was wiping blood from his face, said: ‘The metro was leaving Maelbeek station when there was a really loud explosion. It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the metro.’
Brussels resident Shigeo Sugimoto said he was one stop away from where the metro was hit and heard people shouting.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘I am fine !! But I was in the metro when suddenly some one start shouting explosions!!! Evacuation!!!
‘Ouch!!! I was just one station ahead before when explosion happened!!!!!!!!’
He posted pictures showing cars and people standing in the road and wrote: ‘Maerbeek (sic) now apocalypse!!!’
Mr Sugimoto said he saw a man with blood on his face in the vicinity of Maelbeek station in the EU quarter, near the European Commission’s main building.
He was at Arts-Loi station, one ahead of Maelbeek, and told the Press Association: ‘On the ground, there were already people walking every direction to distance (themselves) from metro and the Belgian army were there trying to make people calm.
‘I saw a guy, blood over his face, dragged by another person. Then police start blocking the street and I could only see ambulances go and come.’
Evan Lamos was among the thousands of commuters on tube trains this morning when the network was attacked.
He was on two stops away from Maelbeek and the passengers on his train were evacuated from the carriages into a smoke-filled tunnel and then walked along the tracks to the exit at the nearest station.
He said: ‘There was a dull thud. We felt a blast of air and my ears popped shortly afterwards. The Metro stopped immediately’.
The Belgian Interior Minister has raised the country’s security level to ‘maximum’ as it prepares itself for more terror attacks in the wake of the airport bombings.
Second attack: Around 90 minutes after the airport blasts, there were reports of an explosion at a station (pictured) in the centre of the city
Lockdown: Rue de la Loi, which runs outside the station, is sealed off by police and emergency services in the wake of the 9.19am attack
The hashtag #PrayForBelgium was trending online, while other social media users posted images like the one above showing solidarity
Armed police have already arrested three suspects in the hours after the attacks and already have CCTV of one of the Brussels airport bombers including the moment he detonated his suicide belt, MailOnline can reveal.
Every space in the city’s airport is covered by four CCTV cameras and Maelbeek station’s surveillance network is also being used to pinpoint the moment that 20 people were murdered and 55 were maimed 79 minutes later.
Two men were detained by armed police at the North Station around a miles from the Maelbeek subway.
A third man has been arrested on a train near Amsterdam and a suspect package at Gard du Nord in Paris delayed Eurostar services this afternoon.
But the Belgian Foreign Ministry has confirmed they believe some of the terrorists involved are ‘still at large’.
Police and special forces are looking for known members of any terror cell who may be planning more attacks.
They will also round up anyone who may pose a threat to the public, or acting suspiciously, in an attempt to foil any more attacks.
Special forces are also patrolling the streets in case of more bombings or marauding gunmen used to kill 131 people in at least five Paris attacks in November 13 last year.
Britain and United States will already be playing a key role in trying to help the Belgian authorities work out who was behind the attacks.
Both MI5 and the CIA have stations in Brussels and its teams have ‘unique expertise’ that will help trace those behind the bombings.
The National Crime Agency, Britain’s FBI, will also be in the city already because of the heightened terror threat.
British Prime Minister David Cameron offered his support to victims and called a COBRA emergency committee meeting to address the events in Brussels.
He tweeted: ‘I am shocked and concerned by the events in Brussels. We will do everything we can to help.
‘I will be chairing a COBRA meeting on the events in Brussels later this morning.’
Tech specialists will be scanning the phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, GPS records and forums known to be used by terrorists – and tracing links to Britain and America.
The explosions came as the Belgian capital was on a state of high alert following the arrest of Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city last week.
Belgium’s Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said the country was on high alert for a possible revenge attack following the capture of 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam in a flat in Brussels on Friday.
‘We know that stopping one cell can… push others into action. We are aware of it in this case,’ he told public radio.
Salah Abdeslam (left), one of the most wanted men in Europe, did plan to carry out a suicide bomb attack at the Stade de France. However, his lawyer claims the French prosecutors’ statement alleging Abdeslam’s involvement breached his client’s confidentiality
The moment of capture as Abdeslam is snared by armed officers following a tense siege in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels
Something appears to drop from inside the trouser leg of Salah Abdeslam as he is arrested by police and bundled into a car
France is seeking Abdeslam’s extradition so he can stand trial for his alleged role in the November 13 rampage of gunfire and suicide bombings that killed 130 people in Paris.
After the Paris attacks, security forces searched far and wide for Abdeslam, who vanished after returning to Brussels, believing ISIS could have spirited him away to Turkey, Syria or Morocco.
But it appears Europe’s most wanted man never left the Belgian capital.
And it was family, friends and petty criminals who helped him evade a manhunt for four months before he was arrested on Friday in the neighbourhood he grew up in, not far from his family home or the district’s police headquarters.
Abdeslam relied on two friends to drive him back to Brussels after his brother Brahim blew himself up at a Paris cafe. Others drove him around Molenbeek and its environs between safe houses.
Police, who were eventually able to move in to seize him at a house in the rundown North African neighbourhood of Molenbeek, have charged a man and a women whom they suspect of being part of a family who harboured the fugitive.
It is understood that intelligence services located the fugitive’s hideout after listening in on phone conversations at the funeral of his brother, Brahim Abdeslam, who blew himself up in the Paris attacks.
One mourner is thought to have let slip vital information which allowed police to close the net around Abdeslam in Molenbeek.
They finally snared him after they noticed a large number of pizzas being delivered to a flat they had under surveillance – too many for the number of people who should have been in the apartment.
He was interviewed three times on Saturday, the day after his capture – once by prosecutors and twice by an investigating judge – and ‘wasn’t in great shape’ because he had been shot in the leg by police during his capture, Mr Van Leeuw said.
Abdeslam has a court hearing on Wednesday. France has requested his extradition but Abdeslam’s lawyer says his client will fight the request.
Police are also hunting a newly-identified ISIS suspect whose DNA was found on bombs used in the Paris terror attacks.
The accomplice was named today as Najim Laachraoui, a militant previously known by the pseudonym Soufiane Kayal which he used to rent a flat where the massacre was planned.
He left for Syria in 2013 before returning to Europe last year and travelled around the Continent with logistics chief Salah Abdeslam and another senior member of the cell in the days before the attacks.
Police issued this photograph of Najim Laachraoui, one of the suspects of the Paris terror attacks who has gone on the run
New suspect: CCTV images (left and centre) released today by Belgium Federal Police shows Najim Laachraoui, who was previously identified in a false passport (right) as Soufiane Kayal, during a money transfer on November 17 – four days after the Paris terror attack – in a Western Union bank in the Brussels
Other CCTV images (left and centre) released by Belgium Federal Police shows Paris suspect Mohamed Belkaid, who is believed to have used the alias Samir Bouzid (right), in the same branch of Western Union on the same day as Laachraoui. Belkaid was shot dead two days before Abdeslam’s capture in a police raid
Prosecutors revealed traces of the 24-year-old’s DNA were found on explosives at the scene of the suicide bomb attacks, suggesting he could be a bomb maker or armourer.
The announcement came as a secret police dossier revealed there could be up to 90 ‘kamikazes’ waiting to launch suicide bomb attacks in Europe after returning from Syria disguised as migrants.
The report also lifted the lid on just how shocked security chiefs were by the scale and complexity of the ISIS operation that killed 130 people in the French capital last November.
Investigators were caught off-guard by how skilled the attackers were in a range of tactics such as using co-ordinated strikes at multiple locations to place the greatest strain on emergency services.
The sophistication of the explosives used by the cell’s suicide bombers also surprised officials.
Experts say that could only have been achieved with the help of an, as yet unidentified, bomb maker in an, as yet undiscovered, bomb factory.
The findings were revealed in a 55-page report compiled in the weeks after the attack by the anti-terrorism police for France’s interior ministry, which has been obtained by the New York Times.
The document, along with hundreds of pages of interrogation and court records, suggests there are still questions about how many others were involved in the attacks.
There are already 20 people being held in six countries on suspicion of assisting the attackers, but officials are identifying other accomplices at large almost on a weekly basis.
The suspected mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed in a raid days after the attacks, is said to have bragged about how he was one of 90 terrorists who had gone to ground in Europe until called upon to strike.
The police said the friend had told them: ‘Abaaoud clearly presented himself as the commander of these 90 kamikazes-in-waiting and that he had come directly to France to avoid the failures they had experienced in the past.’
Officials also don’t know how many bomb-makers were sent to Europe after being trained in Syria or the exact encryption technology that allowed the ISIS death squad to evade detection for three months leading up to the attacks when they were planned the atrocity.
French police began to understand the level of expertise used when they found traces of the same bomb ingredients at each of the places where the suicide vest went off: three times at the Stade de France Stadium, once at the Comptoir Voltaire bistro and twice inside the Bataclan concert hall.
The peroxide-based explosive, known as triacetone triperoxide or TATP can easily be made with everyday products such as bleach or nail polish remover which is why it has become increasingly become the terror group’s explosive of choice.
However, it is difficult to create a stable bomb and equally as tricky to detonate it, suggesting the group had developed their skills over the last two years, the report said.
Until then, they did not believe ISIS was capable of pulling off such a co-ordinated attack.
Dr Natasha Underhill, an expert on terrorism in the Middle East at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘This was no doubt a warning strike to European leaders and there may be more to come.
‘The group has time and time again issued statements that it will have no mercy in targeting those who are supporting the US and who are fighting against the group.
‘The likelihood of further attacks in Europe is now in very little doubt. The promotion of fear is one of the strongest assets that Islamic State possesses and it is sadly doing an excellent job in spreading this message across Europe.
‘Strong responses and a unified reaction by European leaders and their allies needs to take place. However, care needs to be taken in terms of not overreacting to these events and responding in the most strategic and effective way against this growing threat.’
Security ramped up at airports and train stations across the world and border between France and Belgium is closed after Brussels terror attacks
By LUCY CROSSLEY FOR MAILONLINE
Armed police have been deployed to airports, train stations, ports and border crossings around the world in the immediate aftermath of today’s suspected suicide .
From New York to Moscow, security measures were stepped up at transport hubs across the globe with police and military personnel carrying out extra high-visibility patrols and additional checks.
The border between France and Belgium was closed, Eurostar services in and out of Brussels were suspended and airlines to and from other destinations were warning passengers of potential disruption as the effects of this morning’s terror attacks were felt around the world.
Train and bus stations, ports and road checkpoints were also put on high alert, with armed police on the streets in major global cities including London and New York, sniffer dogs deployed and extensive border checks put in place.
An armed policewoman on patrol in Frankfurt Airport in Germany as security measures were ramped up at transport hubs around the world
Travellers stand in a long queue at St Pancras station in London, after all trains in and out of Brussels were suspended this morning
London mayor Boris Johnson said there would be an increased security presence at transport hubs in the city, while the country’s most senior counter-terrorism officer Mark Rowley said police forces across the UK had increased their presence at key locations as a precaution in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
And in the US, the NYPD said it would be increasing security measures at mass transit points, bridges and tunnels, and other landmarks following today’s attacks.
Police and soldiers carrying guns were also seen at airports in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, while in France – still shaken from the November attacks in Paris – officers remained on high alert.
Troops have also been deployed other key locations across Brussels as Belgium raised its security level to ‘maximum’ in the wake of the attacks.
The entire border between Belgium and France was placed on lock-down, and the Thalys train service – which travels between France, Belgium and the Netherlands – was halted in the wake of the explosions, the operator said.
Eurostar, which links London with Brussels and Paris via the Channel Tunnel, said no trains are currently running to or from Brussels Midi station. Passengers were being advised to postpone their journeys.
Dutch military police were carrying out additional high-visibility patrols at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam
Two armed policewoman guard the gateway to the airport in Frankfurt
Services had been terminating at Lille in France, before the entire route was suspended – and the train company was looking into instead running a train service between London and Lille.
A spokesman said: ‘We have suspended all services to and from Brussels until further notice. We are looking at running a shuttle service between Lille and Brussels.’
A spokesman for travel organisation Abta said British holidaymakers in Brussels should follow the instructions of the Belgian authorities, while those due to travel should contact their transport provider.
He added that although Belgium is a popular destination for UK visitors, March is ‘one of the quieter months for leisure travel’.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for Brussels.
It issued a statement which read: ‘You should stay away from crowded places and avoid public transport at this time.’
British officials in the city have been given the same instructions, the FCO said.
Britain’s official terrorist threat level stands at ‘severe’, the second-highest level on a five-point scale, meaning an attack is highly likely.
All flights between the UK and the main airport in Brussels have been cancelled for the rest of today, and Brussels Airlines cancelled 25 flights between UK airports – Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh – and Brussels.
Eight flights between Heathrow and Brussels were cancelled by British Airways.
In London, police were carrying out extra patrols of airports, and advising passengers to check with their airlines before travelling.
Police officers perform security checks outside Fiumicino Airport near Rome today
A Gatwick spokesman said: ‘The safety of passengers and staff at Gatwick is the airport’s absolute priority. As a result of the terrible incidents in Brussels, we have increased our security presence and patrols around the airport.’
A spokesman for Heathrow Airport added: ‘We take the safety and security of our passengers and colleagues very seriously.
‘In the light of events in Brussels airport, we are working with the police at Heathrow who are providing a high visibility presence. We expect flights to Brussels Airport to be affected and ask passengers travelling there to check their flight status with their airline.’
Aeroports de Paris, which operates the Charles De Gaulle and Orly airports, said they were both operating as normal – but that extra security measures brought in following the terror attacks on the city in November were still in place and passengers should continue to allow an extra hour for checks.
France’s top security official, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, said the country was reinforcing security at airports, train stations and on metro services, and immediately increased its vigilance after the Belgian attacks.
France has been on highest alert since the November 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 dead.
The Dutch anti-terror authority said the threat level in the Netherlands was unchanged at ‘substantial’. It said extra security measures would be in place at the country’s airports and borders.
Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said authorities will re-evaluate security at Russian airports. In 2011, a suicide bombing at a Moscow airport killed 37 and injured many more.
Frank Brehany, consumer director of holiday consumer watchdog http://www.holidaytravelwatch.com said anyone travelling today should expect to see a heightened sense of police visibility and security measures.
‘We are all used to seeing armed police and military working around airports and I think this will be much more evident today,’ he told MailOnline. ‘It’s a consequence of the times we live in and most reasonable travellers and holidaymakers will accept this sadly – although with a heavy heart.
‘It’s a sign of the times we live in and until such time these issues are resolves this will be something we have to live with.’
He said that passengers travelling around the world today should be aware that they may face disruption such as cancellations and delays, but said those in airports outside of Brussels should still expect to be looked after by their airlines.
There was a heavy security presence at both Heathrow and Gatwick in London as police carried out high visibility patrols
Passengers were being advised to give extra time for baggage checks and checking in
‘It’s one of those thorny issues because most people’s thoughts are not on consumer rights at a time like this – but they do still have consumer rights,’ he said.
‘I don’t think anyone would dispute that these are extraordinary circumstances, but airlines are still obliged to provide passengers with the care they are entitled to.
‘Compensation is a more difficult subject – there will be disruption around Europe, and that could be down to air traffic control in a situation like this. This is akin to an act of God or a force majeure and airlines and passengers weren’t to know something like this was coming.’
Raffaello Pantucci, an international security expert for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said attacks on airport usually suggest an international terrorism plot, as they are high profile targets which can undermine global security.
However, he said it would not surprise him if today’s blasts were linked to the arrest last week of he arrest of Salah Abdeslam, the quartermaster for the Paris massacres.
‘At this point, there has not been a claim of responsibility,’ he said.
‘An airport usually suggests international terrorism, but it would not surprise me if it was linked with the wider community around that network.’
On the issue of airport security, he said: ‘Most airports you cannot get in without layers of security.
‘They have long been targets and they are quite hard targets. The reality is, they are also high profile targets.
‘If you can launch an attack there, you are striking at the international border and getting a lot of attention.
‘If you attack that, you undermine the global security.’
But he said more security measures could be rolled out at European airports, pointing to countries which have been afflicted by terrorism, like Pakistan.
He said: ‘There is also more you can do. You can push out more security.
‘In international airports, the security really starts a lot earlier, such as when people come to the car park.
‘You see that a lot in the third world, where countries have had problems. The first barrier people have is much further.’