BRUSSELS, Belgium – Brussels today is akin to Saigon in 1975, except this time there is no airlift. Every conversation today be it between members of the European Parliament, tourists, or the ever more small number of Europeans who call Brussels their full time home is how to get out.
How I'd describe terror hit Brussels today… The no.1 conversation among all I've spoken to is how to get out pic.twitter.com/kQhPlfK9G3
— Oliver JJ Lane (@oliver_lane) March 23, 2016
The airport is closed and will remain so for some days — army roadblocks cut the city into zones and the major boulevards are blocked off, making driving difficult. And while the Eurostar to London has resumed service, many eye the terminal at Gare Midi as an obvious follow-up target for those Islamist terrorists still at large.
This is not a thought lost on Belgian security services, desperately playing catch-up after a series of botched counter-terror raids in which officers were shot and suspects were allowed to escape. The failure to prevent yesterday’s terror attack is being seen as a final straw, with one part-time Brussels resident telling Breitbart London that he had “lost faith” in the ability of the government to protect ordinary people.
This now frantic action to prevent a follow-up attack is seen at Gare Midi station where all but one of the entrances have been blocked with police vans. At the remaining doorway a full army checkpoint has been set up, with heavily armed solders searching all those attempting to access the station.
The central square is one area still buzzing with activity, where hundreds have defied advice to avoid crowded public places to lay wreaths, draw chalk murals, and engage in collective mourning. Speaking to Breitbart London this morning, UKIP MEP Jane Collins expressed her distress at those gathered putting their lives at risk.
Fellow UKIP MEP and party defence spokesman Mike Hookem told Breitbart he believed the attacks meant the end of free movement in Europe. He repeated remarks made yesterday that in addition to the Schengen borderless zone meaning free movement of people, it also allowed a “free movement of Kalashnikovs”, the Soviet-made military rifle which has been linked to the airport bombing yesterday.
Oliver Lane is reporting from Brussels