First, we go back in time four days to the capture of the ISIS commander that led the jihadist strike on Paris last November:
Police in Brussels cornered and wounded the last Paris attacker known to have survived the November 13th assault on Friday, ending Europe’s biggest manhunt in years, but also raising troubling questions about whether a plot for another terror attack was in the works.
A spokesman for the Belgium federal prosecutor’s office said on Friday evening that five people were being held after the raids, according to the Associated Press, including Salah Abdeslam, a French national who is believed to have helped plot the attacks.
French President François Hollande warned Friday night that there were likely several other jihadists still at large, and that the network was “wide, extensive.” “Our fight is not finished,” he told reporters in Brussels, where EU leaders had been holed up all day discussing Europe’s [Muslim] crisis. [emphases added]
Speaking for myself, I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop - and now it has:
Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, has been hit by two coordinated blasts - one in its subway and another one at its airport -- causing so far twenty-three deaths on Tuesday morning. It's the deadliest attack perpetrated in Belgium, France's neighbor...., since World War II.
The blasts at Zaventem airport - Belgium's largest -- killed thirteen people and was caused by a suicide bombing, per the Belgian prosecutor. Thirty-five people have been injured. French news channel BFMTV indicated the explosions might have happened near the counters of an American airline and Brussels Airlines. The nationalities of victims have not yet been revealed.
The bomb attack in the subway took place at 9:11 a.m....
....(at rush hour) at the station Maelbeek in Brussels which is located four hundred meters from the European Commission, now placed under maximum security. At least ten people have been killed in the subway blast.
"It's all of Europe which has been hit," said France President Francois Hollande.
Now get a load of the rhetoric that is pouring forth from European leaders after these latest attacks. If it sounds eerily familiar, to say nothing of flagrantly hypocritical, that's because it's both:
Charles Michel, Belgium's prime minister, called the attacks "blind, violent and cowardly."
"We're at war. Europe has been repeatedly attacked for the last few months by acts of war (...) and we must be determined to fight terrorism. The threat is even greater today than before the November 13th attacks at the Bataclan and Stade de France," said Manuel Valls, France's prime minister. [emphasis added]
Now we'll see if the Euros can and will back up these martial words, and if they do, how long it will last.
It should make U.S.-E.U. relations awfully....awkward. And not just for the remainder of this year, either.
UPDATE: ISIS gleefully claims "credit".
UPDATE: II: How the commander-in-chief and leader of the formerly free world spend his seventh-inning stretch:
It is perfectly symbolic that O was in Cuba when ISIS struck Europe again. And that he doesn't want to leave.