March 24, 2016
Brussels was tragically whipsawed last weekend. On Friday, the last at-large attacker from Paris, Salah Abdeslam, was arrested in the city. This well-publicized manhunt provided a sense of closure, and perhaps some relief. So there was particular surprise when twin, coordinated attacks rocked the city only days later.
Monday’s attacks may have been retribution for Friday’s arrest. It is also possible that Monday’s would-be-attackers interpreted Abdeslam’s arrest as a sign that they might be next, so they advanced their planning to strike before they were caught. In any case, the proximate timing may not have been accidental.
And the timing could hardly be worse.