Last Friday Salah Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels after a prolonged manhunt, which many thought would bring calm after the storm of the terrorist attacks that happened in Paris last November. Unfortunately, Tuesday bore witness to two consecutive terrorist attacks in the dual capital city of Belgium and Europe.
Beginning just after 8 a.m. at the international airport in Zaventem, two detonation blasts at departure terminals killed at least a dozen travelers within seconds and left hundreds bleeding from injuries. Building damages included shattered windows and collapsed ceilings.
This was only the beginning of the day’s horrors. At the heart of the city around 9 a.m. a blast detonated on a train approaching the Maelbeek metro station in the middle of the subway network. This station is used by European Parliament and European Union workers. "Terrorists struck Brussels, but it was Europe that was targeted." In this second attack, at least twenty people died with many more injured, French President Francois Hollande said after the proximity of this attack to these establishments of high political power.
Fusion.net tallies the death toll at 34 people, with at least 198 people injured. Though the amount of focus placed on these latest terrorist attacks in Brussels is certainly well-deserved, the amount of American media attention given to this attack – alongside the Paris attacks of last year – sheds light on a disconcerting fact: international tragedies involving white Europeans receive more coverage than stories about other people in less westernized parts of the world. Recent attacks of note include those occurring in Nigeria, Istanbul, and Ankara.
The terrorist group Boko Haram brutally attacked a Nigerian village, killing at least 65 and injuring upwards of 130 people last month with two bomb detonations. In addition to deaths, Mohammed Kanar, the emergency agency chief, said at least 16 people were kidnapped. Reportedly Boko Haram is the world’s deadliest terror group according to ISIS for killings in Nigeria, Chad, and Cameroon. In 2014 the group was said to have killed 6,644 – a 300% increase from the previous year.
On Saturday, a suicide bombing in a popular Istanbul shopping area killed at least five people, wounding dozens more. The bombing was purportedly aimed at this bustling outlet. Ned Price of the National Security Council released the following White House statement: “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Istanbul. Two American citizens were among those killed in this heinous attack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”
On March 17th in Kizilay, Ankara at least 28 people were reportedly killed and 60 injured in a rush-hour car bombing. Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliçer sited the target of the explosion to be military vehicles passing through the Turkish administrative center. Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters, “We do not yet know the perpetrators. This attack did not only target our military personnel in those shuttles. This attack openly targets our entire nation. We condemn those who carried it out, those who instrumentalised the perpetrators, and those who gave logistical, intelligence and even political support to such attacks.”
These three attacks, far from being unique, are only a sampling of the terrorist attacks that haven’t garnered widespread media attention in the U.S. Though these attacks were covered by major international outlets like CNN, many smaller publications did not follow these occurrences with a series of closely analytical articles as the attacks in Brussels.
There isn’t a satisfying answer for why American media outlets spend less time telling the tragic tales of less westernized countries. As global citizens, we should all do our due diligence to stay aware of terrorism on a scale beyond that of the most predominantly told stories.
To learn about other recent and less publicized terrorist attacks across the world, read this article at fusion.net.