National Security

Intel chairman: Brussels attacks appeared to target Americans

The terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday appear to have been designed to hit Americans, according to the head of the House Intelligence Committee.

“From my vantage point, it does look like an attack on Americans,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters off the House floor on Wednesday. “It looks like it was targeted towards Americans to some degree.”

Nunes said he drew that conclusion based on location of the twin bombing sites: next to stands for U.S. airliners United, American and Delta at Brussels’s Zaventem airport, and at a downtown metro station less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy.

{mosads}“With all that said, if you’re going to pick some locations where you might hit Americans, those would be the locations,” Nunes said. 

Nunes cautioned that the conclusion is his own, and not necessarily that of U.S. intelligence agencies.

“We may never know, but from my vantage point, this looks like those locations, to me, look like places where you would hit Americans,” he added. “It looks suspicious.”

The chairman’s speculation adds a new wrinkle to the fallout from the deadly terror attacks, which killed at least 34 people and injured more than 200. The attack came days after the arrest of a fugitive suspected of taking part in last year’s attacks across Paris, and were quickly linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

There are some reasons to be skeptical of Nunes’s analysis.

If the attackers’ goal was to kill Americans, they clearly failed. None of the more than two dozen people killed on Tuesday were U.S. citizens, although more than a dozen Americans were injured, including a service member and his family.

There are also other metro stations closer to the U.S. Embassy in Brussels than the one targeted by the Tuesday bombers, which is closer to offices of the European Union’s political system.

Authorities on Wednesday identified two brothers involved in the deadly attacks and said there is one suspect still at large. 

Nunes, who linked the attack to November’s violence in Paris, claimed the perpetrators were surely part of a larger cell. 

“I believe it’s much larger,” he said. 

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