"On March 22, 2016, coordinated bombings in Brussels, Belgium, left at least 35 people dead and more than 300 injured at the city's international airport and a downtown metro station near the headquarters of the European Union (EU). Four Americans were killed and a dozen injured. Belgian officials declared the bombings acts of terrorism, and the Islamic State organization claimed responsibility. The bombings follow the March 18 capture in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to have been directly involved in the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Authorities have linked Abdeslam to the three identified Brussels suicide bombers, including Najim Laachraoui, who may have constructed the explosive devices used in both the Brussels and Paris attacks. […]French and EU authorities warn that the Islamic State's ability to direct and/or carry out operations in Europe appears to be increasing. Reports suggest that the individuals involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks may have relied on larger networks of accomplices and supporters to carry out the attacks and evade security services. Following the Brussels attacks, French police foiled another terrorist plot and several suspects were arrested on terrorism charges in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. The uptick in terrorist activity has reinforced long-standing concerns about the integration of Muslims in Europe and the potential for radicalization among some segments of Europe's Muslim populations. Worries also persist about attacks by self-radicalized individuals who may not have traveled abroad but have been inspired by Islamist extremist propaganda, such as the Danish gunman who killed two individuals in Copenhagen in February 2015."
CRS Insight, IN10209
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html