Is there something to be learned from the bombings last month that rocked EU’s capital, sending 31 innocents to their deaths and wounding more than 250?
The terror attacks occurred at a subway station and an airport, both during rush hour traffic. These specific locations were targeted in order to injure the highest number of people possible.
But terrorist attacks can happen anytime, anywhere. We must not be ignorant of this fact. While the world mourns for those killed, injured, and bereaved by the attacks in Brussels, we should also consider the incident an important learning opportunity to prevent future injury and death:
1) Stay away from crowds
Tourist hotspots and densely populated cities are prime targets for terrorists. It may be difficult or impossible for those living in such areas to stay away from crowds, but do your best to avoid places like malls, airports, and transit stations – especially during rush hour.
2) Terrorists want revenge
Belgian radical Abdelhamid Abaaoud (at right) was arrested in January for his alleged role in the Paris attacks. Could the Brussels attacks be the enemy’s way of getting revenge for his arrest? I’d believe it.
Be especially wary if you live in a city in which a suspected terrorist has recently been arrested.
3) Heavily guarded ≠ safe.
The Brussels attacks prove that not even airports – which the government claims are secure – are immune to terror. Let’s be honest, the TSA is no more than a bluff.
I’m not trying to scare you, but no amount of security can guarantee safety. In the end, it’s up to you to be prepared. If you must be at an airport or similar location, consider wearing a bulletproof vest or adding bulletproof plates to your packs.
4) Avoid suspicious people
Always be aware of your surroundings. If you see someone or something suspicious, go the other way and notify the authorities.
Video footage taken shortly before the Brussels attack shows the terrorists strolling through the airport. Most people do not walk casually through such places – they are on the phone, hurrying, checking flight times, etc. This unusual behavior could and should have been noticed right away.