Evan Davis with a special programme from Belgium on the Brussels attacks.
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This programme contains scenes which some viewers may find disturbing.
A harrowing IS attack on Brussels, on the open society it represents,
What can the continent do to thwart these attacks
But it is Europe which has been targeted.
It is the whole world which is concerned with this.
One of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, where most of
Tens of thousands working for the EU and thousands more of course,
Brussels was rocked by three explosions this morning,
killing more than 30 people and injuring 200 or so more.
International terror, attacking the whole concept of an international,
Well, no-one is surprised this has occurred,
given the Brussels connection to the French terror attacks last year,
For a look at the day's events, here's Gabriel Gatehouse.
I am about 300 metres from Maelbeek station.
Behind me is the European Parliament building.
It is eerily quiet on the streets below.
People are gathering tonight at the Place de la Bourse.
People are writing messages in chalk on the ground.
Similar to the scenes we saw in Paris.
There is always an emotional response to these
events and a collective emotional response at that.
As people were dropping off their bags at the American Airlines desk.
These pictures show the scene moments after the blast
ripped through the familiar rituals of international air travel.
One minute before we were there at the place of the explosion.
Vanessa and Xavier were meant to be travelling to Miami for a holiday
They ran out in a panic with everybody else.
The attackers had planned a third explosion.
But by then, the departure lounge was littered with bodies.
The two explosions at the airport came at around 8am.
Then just over an hour later, 11 minutes past 9am, another attack.
This time on a Metro train in the heart of the European quarter.
Passengers were evacuated along the smoke-filled tunnels
The bomb had exploded on the train up ahead in
the middle carriage of a three car train, killing around 20 people.
Above ground, a huge security operation began.
People working in nearby offices rushed out to find what had happened
People just covering them with towels and sheets.
She was just sat on the floor, crying.
In what was a very chaotic adrenaline filled moment, you know,
There was literally horror on the streets of Belgium.
All public transport in the city was shut down.
Outside the headquarters of the European Commission today,
bureaucrats were replaced by soldiers.
If the aim is to paralyse, they have certainly achieved that aim.
This is the heart of Europe, the place where all of the
And look - it is under complete lockdown.
Apart from the police, nobody is going in or coming out.
This was not just an attack on Europe, but perhaps on Nato, too.
This was not just an attack on Europe, but perhaps on Nato, too,
whose planes bombing Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and whose
Police circulated a picture of the attackers at the airport, seen
here pushing trolleys through the airport minutes before the attack.
TRANSLATION: A photograph of three male suspects was taken
Two of them appear to have committed suicide attacks.
The third in a light-coloured jacket and a hat is being searched for.
As police search for the man in the light jacket, the city was
coming to terms with its darkest days since the Second World War.
As in Paris, they responded with a show of unity.
Only last Friday, one of the suspects in the Paris attacks
Many have been waiting nervously for something similar.
For those whose lives were changed for ever today, defiance
Tonight, there are searches ongoing across the country.
Police are Brussels have zoned in on an apartment where they say they
have found an IS flag and another explosive device.
But the hunt for the missing bomber continues.
I am joined by John Crombez, leader of the opposition in the Flemish
parliament and a former minister, and by Beatrice Delvaux, the lead
This is a day nobody will ever forget.
Very rare for the King to express him self like that.
People knew that something like that could happen.
But at the same time we were surprised.
Especially because it was after the victory of the capture
We thought it was the beginning of a solution, but that wasn't the case.
John, the security forces and their role in this, is this something
Belgians feel proud of at the moment, or is there a sense of
The result has gone wrong because Belgium has been hit in a way we
haven't seen before, or since a long time.
We are confronted with networks of terrorists where the intelligence
and the anti-terror units are going to need to be upgraded
in a sense that they need the right instruments, the right number of
people, the right exchange of information that is going to go
Do you think this problem is bigger than Belgium can cope with?
It is disproportionately big in Belgium.
I just wonder if it is one this country needs help with?
What is going to be important is that we don't consider this
Like before when it happened in France, a French problem.
This is where Europe needs to talk about shared intelligence.
That is something that needs to be European.
Europe should be able to manage this together.
You talk about European issues and the international nature
I just wonder whether, this is such an international city, isn't it?
I think it was ranked the second most international after Dubai
in terms of proportion of people born overseas who are living here.
I wonder whether that shapes the response here,
and shapes what people feel about the nature of the threat here?
No, I think, basically the Belgians fear what can
We thought that what happened in Charlie Hebdo and
People here are aware that terrorists do travel.
There is this link between the Belgian terrorist
in the French terrorists after what happened in Paris.
It was by French people and people who were born here in Belgium.
But they can travel through the frontiers.
They can travel between the countries because there was not
enough exchange of information between the two countries.
Salah Abdeslam was able to cross the border after the Bataclan.
The French police didn't identify him.
It wasn't that the French did anything wrong, or the French or the
Belgian police, but if they don't work together it won't be solved.
We have already started, in this conversation,
having a small inquest into things which may have gone wrong.
This possibly isn't the days of this inquest, is it?
This is not the day for those kinds of difficult questions.
Belgium has been hit by something so big.
It hasn't been hit by something like this in decades.
If we can manage this, we are going to have to manage this together.
This is no time for politics in finding oppositions,
People need to be aware of the fact that we can overcome this,
we are going to need to do this together.
We often think of Belgium as a country divided between French
We joke about how long it takes to form a government in Belgium.
I just wonder whether this is one of those psychological or physical
shocks to a nation which, in a sense, develops deeper spirit,
I would like to be as optimistic as you are.
Like any other country, after few days, you have to go back.
After the Charlie Hebdo, you know one political party,
one Flemish, during two or three days there was a sense of union
After that, the Flemish nationalist party issued
a statement saying that it was the fault of the French Socialists,
of the Islamic behaviour, or the fact that they were sympathetic
I think today is maybe not the day to ask questions.
Months ago, we had success against terrorism.
In the South of France, we arrested people before and killed them before
At the same time, we think we can handle this, but
then at the same time, this happened today and we just ask questions.
We won't stop asking them because of some union that has to be here
Let's finish by asking, lifestyle changes...
There are countries like Israel where security is embedded
It's something everybody does because they have been used more
of these kinds of events than most of us in Europe.
Do you think Belgians, or other Europeans, are ready to
significantly change lifestyles to put security as a higher priority?
No, and I would say the reaction today is quite strong
already, that people are saying, we will not hand our country over
We don't need that overcome this, but we are going to need to be very
strong and improve on security to do that.
We can only say we will survive this as a society,
we need to make security stronger, information stronger.
Solidarity is one of the features in these ghastly days.
Everybody declaring themselves to be at one with
There has been a particularly strong degree of solidarity
between the French and Belgians in recent months, both victims
There was solidarity in lights tonight, with the Eiffel Tower
But that has been tension between those two countries,
Belgium bridling at some of the criticism it faced losing control of
that district of Molenbeek, and any tension between Belgium and France
points to a bigger problem, that Europe talks about solidarity,
but exhibits too little of it when it comes to security cooperation.
So we are going to spend the next few minutes thinking
about different aspects of the threat and how to deal with it.
This looks like a pretty catastrophic failure
What do our security services say about this?
There have been persistent reports that Belgian intelligence has been
swamped by the caseload, and that is not coming from British security
And the numbers would seem to back that up.
350 jihadis from Belgium have travelled to Syria to fight
In terms of per capita population, that is the biggest problem
I spoke to counterterrorism sources here today, and they were reluctant
to criticise their Belgian counterterrorist counterparts here
today, but they did say that some don't have sufficiently close enough
relationships with police, and I spoke to a former French
government minister tonight, and he told me there is
And to look at this, you really have to consider one fact.
After the Paris attacks, they were hunting for Salah Abdeslam,
and it took them four months to find him, and he was hiding in plain
And given the nature of the targets today, it was
an airport, but it was landside, not air side, so no security.
What's to security people think you can do about those kinds of targets
Protecting a soft target is the key, clearly, and I have been speaking to
security experts today talking about a rather controversial technique
called behavioural analysis, and this basically means putting
plainclothes people into locations where they can watch passengers
before they pass through security, before they mount planes and trains,
and this is what one security expert had to say to me today.
Behavioural analysis is all about identifying somebody was
negative intent, it doesn't matter whether it is a passenger,
I have long advocated that this should either
primary method of screening at airports, in the UK and worldwide,
and there has been so much resistance over the years because
people feel that we are going to be racially profiling people
rather than making intelligent decisions based on common sense.
Richard Watson, thank you very much indeed.
We can't be tough on terror or the causes
of terror without understanding the things that make it flourish.
To understand those things by the way is not to justify them
And sadly, fairly or not, it's the Brussels district
of Molenbeek that often comes up as exhibit number one, of community
Secunder Kermani has been spending time in Molenbeek, he's
been making a Panorama programme that will air tomorrow night.
And it isn't just Molenbeek that is the focus
Yes, we have seen raids in a district
called Schaerbeek, about 15 minutes from Molenbeek, both of these areas
They are in a geographical semicircle of deprived areas
around a central canal in Brussels, and we have seen people look
at Molenbeek as the centre of radicalisation, but it is not as
The Paris attackers, they came from Molenbeek but they
also had a safe house in Schaerbeek where they manufactured suicide
belts, and we don't know what connection there is between today's
We see areas outside of Brussels, Antwerp is also seen significant
numbers of young people go over to Syria.
But with all those caveats, if you want to understand the causes behind
radicalisation in Belgium, Molenbeek is as good a place as any to go,
and I went back there today, as well as of course there being a lot of
sympathy for the victims are today's awful events, there is also
a sense of foreboding about what the events could mean for the community
We don't know if today's attackers came from here, but it has been
the centre of Belgian's problems with radicalisation.
Just last Friday, security services here celebrate
the capture of Salah Abdeslam, the final member of the group that
Many in a support network all grew up in Molenbeek.
Today's attacks have left some here worrying what will be revealed
Belgium has a higher number of jihadi is in Syria per capita than
anywhere else in Europe, and for the past few weeks, I have been spending
One reason many in the Muslim community here and is that when the
Syrian conflict started, authorities didn't seem overly concerned
Molenbeek has 40% youth unemployment.
There are a lot of disaffected young men here, and some are
This Sheikh used to be one of Molenbeek's most well-known
preachers, but is now in Syria with a rebel group fighting against both
In Molenbeek, many labelled him a radical, but unlike a new generation
of IS jihadists, he says he is firmly against attacks in the West.
I asked him why he thought so many young people from
For some, this solution to the threat to IS lies
For others, it lies closer to home, but whatever the solutions are,
they are already too late for today's victims.
For many of us, this has been the driest spell of weather since last
autumn. It is because the jet stream, the thing that