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LAREDO MORNING TIMES: Henry Cuellar reacts to terrorist attacks in Belgium

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LAREDO, Texas, March 22, 2016 | comments

Henry Cuellar reacts to terrorist attacks in Belgium


  Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 6:16 pm | Updated: 6:54 pm, Tue Mar 22, 2016.

Special to the Times

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar condemned the terrorist attacks perpetrated across Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday.

So far, it has been reported that 34 are dead and at least 200 have been wounded, among them at least nine Americans. The terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The attacks took place at Zaventem airport outside the Belgian capital as well as on a Metro train close to the headquarters of the European Union. The attacks come on the heels of the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, a suspected participant in militant attacks in Paris last November.

As a result, Belgium has raised its threat rating to Level 4, or “serious and imminent attack.” This is the first time such a threat assessment has been reached in Belgium.

“The violence experienced today is tragic,” Cuellar said. “The cowardly acts perpetrated today are a reminder that we need to remain vigilant in this day and age.

"Our European allies and the world have experienced too much senseless violence, and we must stay on guard to keep Europe and the rest of the world safe from events like these and bring those responsible to justice. My thoughts go out to the Belgian people and those impacted by today’s attacks.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement that no specific threat to the U.S. exists in the wake of the attacks. However, the Transportation Security Administration will deploy additional security at major transit hubs as a precaution, along with other safety measures.

The U.S. Department of State is advising U.S. citizens that no flights are leaving Brussels and that they should shelter in place and monitor local media and U.S. Embassy social media for the latest developments. U.S. citizens have also been encouraged to call their loved ones in the United States to report on their well-being.

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