By: Pallavi Sethi
August 9 2023
The 2016 bombings in Brussels killed 32 and were not staged.
A video circulating on Facebook makes unfounded claims that the 2016 airport bombings in Brussels were staged. The video shows a BBC news report featuring several witnesses after the explosions. However, the Facebook user calls the horrific bombings a "false flag" and claims to "fully expose the BBC and their crisis actors." The user also denies other events, including the Boston Bombings, the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, these claims link to known conspiracy theories and first-hand evidence proves that they are false.
On March 22, 2016, a series of explosions at the Brussels airport and metro station killed 32 and injured 300 people. The Islamic State claimed responsibility and stated that it employed "explosive belts and devices" for these deadly attacks. The coordinated terrorist attacks included two suicide bombings at the airport's departure lounge and one detonation at the Brussels subway. Many people who were at these locations during the bombings became witnesses to the events. Kallouchi Mohammed, who worked at the airport's cafe, told Politico he "saw blood everywhere."
Eyewitness accounts play a crucial role in the investigation as they can help authorities understand the sequence of events, the nature of the attacks, and the impact on the victims and the surrounding area. As reported by CNN, once the authorities made the surveillance footage public, a taxi driver who drove the attackers to the airport shared their address with the investigators. This crucial tip prompted the investigators to raid the residence, where they uncovered a "nail bomb, chemical products, and an ISIS flag." Investigators also found the DNA of one of the suicide bombers in the residences used by the attackers of the 2015 Paris attacks.
In July 2023, a Belgian court found six men guilty of murder and convicted two others on terrorism charges concerning the horrific event. Salah Abdeslam, a French citizen and the primary suspect in the trial related to the 2015 Paris attacks, along with Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem, were among those who were convicted. According to Reuters, "roughly 1,000 victims," including those who lost loved ones, registered to attend the court hearings.
'False Flag' conspiracies
The Facebook user classifies terrorist events such as the Christchurch shootings, the 9/11 attacks, and public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic, as false flag operations. However, the claims are part of a known conspiratorial narrative.
A "false flag" operation is a covert tactic in which one group or entity carries out an action or event while making it appear that another perpetrator is responsible. While there are several historical examples of false flag operations, Dr. Pies, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, warns that it is "important to distinguish an actual false flag operation from a false flag conspiracy theory." The term "false flag" has been co-opted by conspiracy theorists who believe that an event, often a tragic or significant one, has been deliberately staged or orchestrated by a particular group or government to deceive the public and shift blame or manipulate perceptions.
Some conspiracy theorists believe powerful elites intentionally created or manipulated the COVID-19 pandemic for various purposes, such as population control, economic manipulation, political agendas, or establishing a "New World Order." Dr. Pies points out that during the pandemic, there was a "deep-seated mistrust of previously respected medical authorities, such as Anthony Fauci."
Logically Facts has regularly debunked multiple false claims surrounding the pandemic, false flags, and 9/11 conspiracy theories.
There is no evidence that the Brussels bombings were staged. We have therefore rated this claim as false.