Budapest, March 22 (MTI) – The terrorist attacks carried out in Brussels on Tuesday were meant to send multiple messages to Europe, József Kis-Benedek, an associate professor at the National Public Services University, told MTI.
Kis-Benedek said the bombings, which the Islamic State militant group has since claimed responsibility for, can be interpreted as an attack against western civilization, western religion and the European Union.
The associate professor said the attacks were well-coordinated and they were not entirely unexpected. Law enforcement agencies have been continuously monitoring suspected terrorist organisations since the attacks in Paris last November, he added.
The attacks may also demonstrate that Islamic State has chosen to engage in asymmetric warfare after the international coalition’s efforts against the organisation severely weakened its military power.
The fact that one of the bombs was detonated near EU institutions was meant to serve as a message to the bloc, he said.
Kis-Benedek emphasised the importance of the timing of the attacks, noting that the coming Easter holiday guarantees that many people would be travelling at this time. One of Islamic State’s goals would have been to cause “as much chaos as possible” with the various air and rail travel-related delays and cancellations in the wake of the bombings, he said.
Asked which country the terrorist group may be looking to target next, the associate professor said it was highly unlikely that the next target would be Hungary. Islamic State would be more likely to target cities like Paris, Rome, London or a German city, he said.
Kis-Benedek urged security services to take note that the explosion at Zaventem airport happened in the departure terminal, an area which is accessible to anyone from the street.
The terrorist attacks killed at least 34 people and wounded more than 230 others.