‘Dark days lie ahead,’ the terrorist group warns in a new statement.
The Islamic State is threatening “dark days ahead” for the West in the wake of devastating bombings in Brussels, in a statement taking credit for twin attacks that rocked the Belgian capital on Tuesday and left more than 30 dead.
The statement, released in Arabic and French, describes how “soldiers of the Caliphate” used suicide belts and bombs to attack locations “chosen with precision” around Brussels, including the airport and a metro station, in order to kill a “large number of crusaders.”
“We promise the nations of crusaders that are allied against the Islamic State that dark days lie ahead, in response to their aggression against our State,” the statement warns. “And what awaits you will be harder and more bitter, with Allah’s permission.”
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has joined the condemnation of the attacks in Belgium’s capital, Brussels in which at least 31 people have died.
In a statement from the office of the president made available to Elombah.com, Mr Buhari says that the events “reinforce the need for greater international cooperation to effectively confront and destroy global terrorism”.
The president also says that “Nigeria will continue to work with other countries of the world to ensure that terrorism never triumphs over free, peaceful and law-abiding nations”.
Nigeria was ranked third in 2015 on the Global Terrorism Index for countries most affected by terror attacks.
Speaking hours earlier in Cuba, President Barrack Obama forcefully condemned the attacks, saying such “outrageous” acts will not be tolerated.
“This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together, regardless of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism,” Obama said, speaking at the Gran Teatro in Havana ahead of a speech urging Cubans to embrace human rights and democracy. “We can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world.”
Eight Americans were reportedly wounded in the attacks, including a U.S. serviceman and several members of his family. Details are still emerging about the nature of the violent acts and the human toll. Brussels was locked down after the explosions, which the Belgian government immediately said were acts of terrorism.
Even as officials across two continents scrambled to understand the nature of the attacks, and before delivering his speech in Cuba, Obama spoke by phone with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and expressed condolences while reaffirming the support of the U.S.
“The president reiterated that the United States stands together with the people of Belgium, as well as NATO and the European Union, and once again pledged the full cooperation and support of the United States in our shared commitment to defeat the scourge of terrorism,” the White House said in a readout of the phone call.
Belgian authorities, who said at least one suicide bomber was involved in the explosions, raised the threat level to four, the highest level, which serves as a warning that further attacks could occur.
In Washington, D.C., House Speaker Paul Ryan said he had “received updates” about the attacks, and he has “absolutely no reason to believe there is a threat” to the U.S. Capitol complex.
Metro transit police said they had found no credible threats to the public transportation system, but authorities increased security patrols in response to the explosions abroad. Amtrak said extra officers have been deployed to enhance security. And Delta diverted flights from Brussels after the explosions.
The latest attacks revive fears that were stoked late last year when a group of terrorists in Paris killed 130 and left many more wounded — simultaneous attacks also claimed by the Islamic State. A husband-and-wife team in San Bernardino whose ties to the Islamic State were more uncertain killed 14 people and seriously injured 22 in a shooting spree in December — the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.