Terrorist Attacks in Brussels: How did the Media React?

On March 22nd, two powerful explosions occurred inside Brussels airport, and another one took place in the center of Brussels at the Maelbeek subway station. The country immediately raised the terrorism threat to level four (the same level implemented in Paris after the terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015). According to recent reports, about 34 people were killed, and more than 230 were injured.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Today Belgium announced a three-day period of mourning for those who were killed in the terrorist attacks.

French Media

The first reports in the French media about the terrorist attack in Brussels appeared 20 minutes after the explosion.
Figaro published articles entitled “ISIS attacks Europe, How was Maelbeek feeding Jihad into Europe and the world”, and “Europe, wounded in the heart, Universal War”.

According to the RIA Novosti’s analysis of the foreign Media

The French paper Le Monde wrote that many terrorist groups were spreading Tuesday’s rumors about other terrorist attacks around Brussels on the Internet, sowing panic among the Belgians. At least three sources on Twitter posted about the bombs in the hospital, at the University of Brussels, and in the European Commission building. The publication drew attention to the fact that the accounts in social networks were created in advance, and many of them, after being removed, were immediately restored for effective promotion, as well as to look distinctive.
The French paper Le Parisien wrote about Belgian people’s readiness to help the victims of terrorist attacks in Brussels. Long queues of people wanting to donate blood for the victims of the explosions in Brussels began to line up at the doors of the local hospital just some hours after the attacks. According to the newspaper, among the volunteers were both young couples and aged spouses, as well mothers with children. There were so many people that the hospital forced the nurse to ask people to come back a few days later as there was already enough blood.
The French newspaper L'Humanite, published an article on Wednesday, with the title “Death rage hits the Brussels” on the front page. It spoke about the French authorities strengthening security measures in airports, public transport, and railway stations of the country after the terrorist attacks in Brussels. In addition, as the newspaper wrote, the French authorities called for greater international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. “Through the Brussels attacks, it is the whole of Europe that is hit to relentlessly fight terrorism, both internationally and internally,” quoted the French President Francois Hollande the newspaper. And the appeal was heard in other European countries: Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Prague, Geneva, and Barcelona strengthened security measures, says L’Humanite.

American Media

(Аccording to the RIA Novosti’s analysis)

The leader of Washington Journalism, the Washington Post published on its website an article entitled “Why is Brussels under attack?” “Brussels was hit by a number of deadly explosions on Tuesday in a coordinated terrorist attack, now being claimed by the Islamic State.
It's a shocking turn of events, but for anyone closely observing the city over the past few years, it wasn't exactly a surprise: The Belgian capital was once best known as a center for European culture and politics, but its reputation has been tainted recently because of links to extremism and terrorist plots,” said the article. It was noted, “It has been known for months that Abdeslam traveled back to Belgium after the attacks, but it was only in the past few weeks that Belgian authorities got a lead and captured him and an alleged accomplice. While the capture of Abdeslam was touted as a success, it also appeared to show that the number of people involved in the Paris attacks could be far larger than first thought.”
The Washington Post’s article “How the Brussels attacks could force Obama to betray his policy instincts” published pictures of US President Barack Obama and his national security adviser, Susan Rice, in Cuba discussing the situation by telephone with United States Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco. “Obama has been making the case for months that his strategy to defeat the Islamic State and protect Americans at home is slowly working. White House aides speak repeatedly of the 40 percent of the Islamic State’s territory taken back from the group in Iraq and the 20 percent wrested away in Syria. They cite the impact of more than 11,000 U.S. military airstrikes, which they say have killed more than 10,000 front-line fighters,” the article reads. The publication claims: “The reality — as Obama learned in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. — is that impressive battlefield statistics and reasoned calls for restraint mean little in the climate of fear generated by terrorist strikes.”
“The fundamental problem for Obama is that he is convinced, on the basis of his experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, that intensifying the fight against the Islamic State with more American troops, more airstrikes and raids would be counterproductive. The White House and Pentagon have studied options that would accelerate the timeline for major attacks designed to clear the Islamic State from its main strongholds of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. Such plans could include increasing the number of U.S. combat advisers, pushing them closer to the front lines and loosening combat rules designed to minimize civilian casualties. But Obama has rejected those options, arguing that if there are no Iraqi or Syrian forces to hold the seized territory and provide humanitarian assistance, the gains will be short-lived, said senior administration officials,” the newspaper notes.

The New York Times also published an article entitled “Brussels Attacks Underscore Vulnerability of an Open European Society.” The article reads:  “The new attacks again underscored not only the weaknesses of Belgium’s security services, but also the persistence and increasingly dangerous prospect of what several intelligence experts described as a sympathetic milieu for terrorist cells to form, hide and operate in the center of Europe.”
It goes on to note that “The attacks have set off a new round of soul-searching about whether Europe’s security services must redouble their efforts, even at the risk of further impinging on civil liberties, or whether such attacks have become an unavoidable part of life in an open European society. At the very least, they have exposed the enduring vulnerability of Europe to terrorism in an age of easy travel and communications and rising militancy.”
Politico newspaper subsequently asked: will terror help Trump? “In his victory speech after last week's Florida primary, Donald Trump pinpointed the key moment in his meteoric political rise: "Paris happened."
Trump said, as the article quotes, that after the November terrorist attacks that left 130 dead in the French capital, soon followed by a terrorist massacre in San Bernardino, California, his campaign "took on a whole new meaning. ... And all of a sudden the poll numbers just shot up.” It notes further: “Now many national security specialists fear that further attacks like the bombings that killed at least 30 people in Brussels on Tuesday will fuel Trump's further rise, drawing more voters to his clenched-fist approach of closed borders and retribution killings — and could ultimately pave his unlikely path to the White House.” Thomas Wright, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has written about Trump’s strongman political style, writes that “In a climate of fear, Trump's semi-authoritarian, unilateralist approach may be more appealing," said Thomas Wright, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has written about Trump's strongman political style - “I don't think so. But I might be wrong. It may be that people are so frightened that they’re willing to endorse policies that nobody over the last 50 years has even raised as remote possibility.”

Arab Media

(Аccording to RIA Novosti’s analysis of the foreign media)

The Popular Lebanon newspaper As-Safir posted an article by its journalist Waseem Ibrahim titled “The Morning in Brussels, the Death and the Darkness of fear across Europe.” In his article, the author examines in detail and eloquently the entire course and causes of the tragedy.
“Brussels became one more European capital sunk in blood by terrorists who aimed to strike at the prestige of the state and the lives of its citizens just four months after the attacks in Paris. The city woke up to this nightmare only a few days after the Belgian Prime Minister and the President of France had announced the arrest of the most wanted man in Europe charged with the Paris attacks. He was placed in a specially guarded prison. Authorities expressed their awareness of impending attacks in Brussels but, despite all this, the attacks became a cruel reality. The message of horror conveyed by ISIS and its Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi horrified the population and the security forces found themselves almost helpless. Brussels is anxious about is future and is holding its breath,” Waseem Ibrahim writes. According to the author, the Belgian intelligence services knew of the attack, but “were in a very unfavorable position and must be strongly criticized." However, as the author asserts, the tragedy is now to be used by European far-right forces in their own political interests, “ready to accuse the refugees.”
The authoritative Middle Eastern pan-Arab newspaper, Alquds Alarabi, writes in the article with the title “Questions that No One Wants to Answer?” “As usual, some world leaders were quick to generalize another tragedy, ignoring the complexity and depth of the terrorism phenomenon.” The journalists cited as an example “the US presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has already managed to defend torture, condemn refugees, and call for closing borders until ascertaining present circumstances.” In addition, the newspaper notes that Israel and Syria are stark examples of tragedy for the Council of Europe. Thus, they “were demanded to support their criminal operations against the population despite the fact that they themselves are guilty of the sufferings of people and revolts that became the main causes for the emergence of existence of terrorism.”