Brussels, Belgium is home to NATO headquarters and the European Union. It is also the base of operations for an ISIS terror cell that struck Paris one week ago Friday.
Now Brussels is on lockdown with a massive deployment of troops in the streets due to a warning of an imminent terror attack issued by the Belgian government.
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Belgian forces inspect Muslim woman in Brussels, Saturday, November 21, 2015, image via Twitter.
— sarah (@signoffhes) November 21, 2015
In response, the U.S. government has issued warnings to U.S. citizens in Brussels.
The State Department issued a statement warning Americans in Brussels to stay home and shelter in place while the Defense Department has ordered personnel and contractors to not travel to Brussels for at least the next seventy-two hours. Military personnel and contractors already in Brussels were ordered to stay home and shelter in place.
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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Brussels (Belgium), Threat Level in Brussels Elevated to Highest Level
The U.S. Embassy in Brussels informs U.S. citizens that Belgium has raised its threat level for Brussels from level 3 (high) to level 4 (imminent attack). For the rest of Belgium, the threat level remains at level 3. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to shelter in place and remain at home. If you must go out, avoid large crowds. The Embassy will provide further information as received and is available.
All Metro Stations are closed Saturday. Other public transportation options, like trams, are operating on a limited basis. Regional trains are operating but authorities urge vigilance. The airport is operating normally.
U.S citizens are urged to avoid public places such as major pedestrian walkways and shopping centers. If you were planning to attend an event today, we strongly urge you to reconsider. We will provide further information as received and available.
In this time of elevated threat, the U.S. Embassy in Brussels reminds U.S. citizens to exercise caution in public transportation systems, sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, shopping malls, and other tourist destinations. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
TRAVEL RESTRICTION: U.S. European Command (EUCOM) issued a travel restriction to #Brussels for the next 72 hours.
This restriction applies to all DoD elements and personnel which include military personnel, DoD civilian employees, contractors, and command-sponsored dependents/family members currently outside Belgium. For those already in Brussels, everyone is to shelter in place and remain at home.
We will share information and updates as they come. – United States Army Europe – USAREUR, U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet
Text of the Belgian government warning (translated by Google.)
Following a new assessment of the OCAM performed this Friday, 20/11 at night, the terror alert level rose to a level 4, very serious, for the Brussels Region. Level 3 continue to apply to the rest of the country.
The analysis shows indeed a serious and imminent threat that requires taking specific security measures as well as specific recommendations for the population.
Advice to the population:
Avoid places with high concentrations of people in the Brussels region (concerts, major events, train stations and airports, public transport, places of high commercial concentration).
Facilitate follow the safety controls
Do not post rumors: follow the official information from the authorities and police services
In order to enable judicial inquiries to track their progress, no further details will be given. A communication from the Government will follow tomorrow morning.