Brussels Airport Suicide Bombers Reportedly Targeted Jews and Israelis

Sources involved in investigations tell AFP that Delta's check-in counter was one specific target for the attackers, who also tailed Orthodox Jews and left a bomb near the El Al check-in counter.

In this March 23, 2016 file photo, a forensics officer works in front of the damaged airport terminal in Brussels.
AP

Jews and Israelis, along with Americans and possibly Russians, were specifically targeted by ISIS suicide bombers who killed dozens in Brussels in March 22, reported Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, quoting sources involved in investigations.

Based on security camera footage one of the attackers at Brussels airport, "seemed to rush towards two Orthodox Jews," one source told AFP. "He really, clearly wanted to kill a Jew."

According to the report, there seemed to be an agreement that Americans were targeted and a growing consensus that Israelis and Jews were also picked out by the attackers. "We know they wanted to target Americans," the news agency was told. "It's clear they had quite specific targets. We know they were obsessed with the Israelis too."

The suggestion that Russians were also targets of the attack, is still an "option" that requires further investigation, said the source.

At least 34 were killed in the attacks that struck simultaneously at a Brussels airport and a subway station in the city. More than 200 were wounded in the explosions, and individuals of at least 40 different nationalities were among the casualties.

"Even early on, there were indications that they targeted U.S., Russian and Israeli check-in counters," an American law enforcement official was quoted as saying.

According to AFP, the bombings took place just before flights on United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, El Al, Brussels Airlines and Aeroflot were due to depart for the U.S., Israel and Russia.

One source said that one of the bombers specifically "attacked the Delta Airlines check-in."

A separate source from the airport said an additional bomb that did not explode had been left near the United and El Al counters which were adjacent to one another.