Brussels attacks were 'not a surprise,' but 'shocking' success, BBC security reporter says

Twin explosions rocked the Brussels airport on March 22
(Image credit: Dirk Waem/AFP/Getty Images)

The deadly explosions Tuesday morning at the Brussels airport and in a metro tunnel were "not a surprise," BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said, but it's "shocking it was so successful." At least 13 people were killed in what Belgian prosecutors say was at least one suicide attack, and Belgian security services have had a long time to prepare for something like this, he added. They have been playing "catch up" since the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris in January 2015, but they still don't have a "very good system" of inter-agency intelligence sharing set up. In Britain, Gardner said, Muslim communities have reported suspicious behavior, helping thwart attacks, but no such communication appears to be happening in Belgium.

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On Tuesday morning, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel acknowledged that "what we feared has happened, we were hit by blind attacks."

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