Brussels was rocked by violence today as a lone gunman went on a shooting spree, leaving at least two dead according to initial reports. The attacker, who has not yet been identified, was heard screaming "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire indiscriminately before being subdued by authorities. Though his motivations are not yet confirmed, the suspect claimed to be a member of ISIS, indicating this was likely a terror attack.
This latest incident has Brussels on edge, reminding many of the horrific bombings at the city's airport and metro station in 2016 which were also tied to Islamic extremists. While official details are still emerging, the violence appears to fit an all-too-familiar pattern of recent attacks across Europe. Leaders will once again be pressed to balance security with civil liberties as they determine how best to combat the persistent threat.
The victims and their families should be in all of our thoughts today. And we must also not lose sight of those promoting tolerance and unity in the face of senseless violence. Fear and suspicion often accompany these acts, but we cannot let them overtake common humanity and decency.
What matters most now is supporting those affected while avoiding dangerous stereotypes and reprisals. With calm resolve, we must bring any guilty to justice while staying true to the open, democratic values that define us. The road ahead may not be easy, but we will walk it together.