Officials in Belgium have “precise information” that Brussels faces a “Paris-Style” Attack. In response Brussels Enters Lockdown.
Brussels faces an imminent threat of a Paris-style Islamic State terrorist attack, authorities warned, as the city shut down its metro system and shopping malls, canceled sporting and cultural events and told people to avoid gathering in large groups.
“We have precise information that outlines the risk of an attack similar to the one that unfolded in Paris,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told a press conference Saturday morning in Brussels. “It is a threat based on the theory that it would take place with arms and explosives, maybe even in several places and at the same time.”
Authorities canceled sporting events and cultural activities around the Belgian capital. Professional soccer games were postponed, movie theaters, opera houses, libraries and galleries closed and shopping malls and department stores shut their doors. The city’s Atomium tourist venue didn’t open on Saturday, while night clubs and concert venues said they wouldn’t open in the evening.
“We have enough pieces of information to judge that the threat is precise and imminent,” said Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, according to Belga newswire. “It’s normal that there is a certain feeling of fear after what happened in Paris and Bamako,” he said in a reference to al-Qaeda-linked gunmen killing at least 21 people at a luxury hotel in Mali’s capital on Friday.
The Brussels metro will remain closed until at least Sunday afternoon, Michel told reporters Saturday morning after a meeting of the national security council. The council will meet again on Sunday to decide whether to extend the closure beyond the weekend.
The terror warning came hours after the United Nations on Friday unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for countries to take “all necessary measures” to combat so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, warning that the group intends further attacks like those that in the French capital.
The above information seems more “general” than precise. Is the threat even real?
Yet, it’s tough to second-guess the actions taken now simply because we don’t know what the authorities know.
But unless those in the plot are captured today (assuming there is a plot), will the airport be any safer on Sunday or Monday?
Now that fears are heightened, one obvious risk is a series of idle threats that will shut down cities, time and time again.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock