BRUSSELS — For some time, a sword had been hanging over Brussels, the capital of Belgium and Europe. This ominous intuition became clear when it turned out that the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 had been partially organized from Belgium. After the Paris attacks, suspect Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Moroccan Frenchman, went into hiding in Molenbeek, a Brussels neighborhood. For months, Belgian security officers searched for him./.../
A large pizza order, traces of DNA and meticulous telephone surveillance helpedlead to the house where Abdeslam was captured last week, just a stone’s throw from the home where he grew up. “We’ve got him,” Theo Francken, the state secretary for asylum and migration tweeted — an allusion to President Obama’s speech after Osama bin Laden was killed. But this did not eliminate the danger. The state secretary realized this as well: he deleted his tweet. Security officials sensed that there was still something afoot.
On March 22 at about 8 a.m., the sword fell. Two attacks targeting the airport and a subway station in the capital killed at least 32 people and left about 260 wounded. The images are surreal and at the same time gruesomely real.