On Tuesday, three explosions barreled through Brussels, Belgium, home to NATO headquarters. Two explosions occurred at the Brussels Zaventem Airport, the other in a subway station in the district of Maalbeek. The explosions claimed the lives of at least 30 people and wounded approximately 230 others.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack and a manhunt has been launched to locate the individual on the right of this screen-capped shot of the airport footage, as he was said to have left his belongings and fled only moments before the explosions occurred.
The event is suspected to be a revenge plot for last week's capture of Europe's most wanted man, Salah Abdeslam, one of 10 suspects involved in the Paris attack in November of last year and the last one still alive.
While the world has expressed their condolences to the city of Brussels and the country of Belgium as a whole, it is the people of France that have stepped forward to convey their empathy to the country. It was only a few months back that ISIS launched similar attacks on Paris, where 130 innocent people were killed.
French cartoonist Jean Plantureux, better known by his pen name Plantu, drew an emotional cartoon for French newspaper Le Monde to express the country's ongoing support and condolences during the country's time of mourning.
The international community comes together for #Brussels🇧🇪: https://t.co/S8dORpsnOJ pic.twitter.com/0y3jYFJnQ8
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 22, 2016
Similarly to how landmarks around the world lit up in French colors following the Paris attack, the Eiffel Tower now lit up in the colors of the Belgian flag following the attacks on Brussels.
Paris stands with Brussels: Eiffel Tower turns red, yellow and black:
It was only a few months ago that the E... https://t.co/cXEqrNxEQf
— Silicon Angel (@SiliconAngel) March 22, 2016
While these events are certainly tragic, they are not the only events that ISIS has claimed responsibility for.
In the few years since the existence of ISIS was confirmed, there have been a whopping 75 attacks conducted or inspired by the terrorist group across the globe, resulting in the casualties of 1,280 people.
Numerous threats have circulated the web regarding future attacks, leaving the world in a state of anxiety and high alert. Security has increased in airports and other large public areas around the world as a result. Politicians in the U.S. are using tragic events like these to try and amplify their presidential campaigns, to convince the citizens of America that they will be protected under their tutelege.
But what can we do? What can we as citizens do when tragedy like this strikes us?
Politicians say that we can be prepared, that we can be armed and ready to take on whoever threatens us. And maybe to some extent, that's true. But are we as a nation ever truly ready for something like this? Are we ready to deal with the casualties and the destruction that these events bring forth?
Criminals and terrorists do not have a set appearance. Despite what many think, there is not one race or religion or gender or any set personal attribute that can always, without a shadow of a doubt, predict who will be the perpetrator behind an attack.
We may not always be ready, but we can still be prepared.
We may not be able to prevent all casualties, but we can take steps to lessen the number of the deceased.
So stay alert, be prepared, but do not forget that terrorism does not have a face, nor a name. It only has destruction.
Be safe, and #PrayForTheWorld.