Islamic State adherents on social media celebrated the deadly terror attacks that took place in Brussels Tuesday morning, for which the terror organization has taken responsibility according to reports.
The blasts at the airport and metro station which killed at least 34 people occurred four days after the arrest in Brussels of a suspected participant in the November ISIS attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Belgian police had been on alert for any reprisal action.
Shortly after the first explosion in Zaventem airport that killed 14 people, Islamic State supporters created the Twitter hashtag, “Brussels is on fire,” to express their happiness about the attack and deliver threatening messages to “Western Crusaders.”
The most common remark under the hashtag was: “You declared war against us and bombed us, and we attack you inside your homeland.” After each additional attack, Islamic State supporters celebrated by writing “Allahu Akbar.”
The popular hashtag is apparently inspired by a similar one created by Islamic Sate supporters after the Paris attacks: “Paris is on fire.”
Both of these attacks seemingly share not only a similar hashtag, but also a similar mode of operation – suicide bombers who infiltrate crowded public places wearing explosive belts and detonate themselves.
In their reactions to the Brussels bombing, Islamic State supporters also claimed the explosions were aimed at exerting pressure on Belgian security authorities to release Salah Abdelsalam, the Paris attack suspect who was arrested Friday following a lengthy manhunt.
Another popular reaction from Islamic State supporters on Twitter was that the Brussels attacks were intended to avenge the Muslim blood that was spilled in Mosul in a series of air strikes by the Western coalition over the weekend; dozens of innocent Iraqis were allegedly killed after the US-led coalition targeted the University of Mosul as an Islamic State headquarters.
The “tears of joy” that Islamic State supporters shed on Twitter also reflected the terrorist organization’s paralyzing Brussels following the attacks. Islamic State has declared it plans to disrupt the Western economy, and replace the dollar with its own dinar.