Tags: brussels | email | wrong | address | terrorist attack

Brussels: Email to Wrong Address During Terrorist Attacks Sign of Trouble

Brussels: Email to Wrong Address During Terrorist Attacks Sign of Trouble
Belgium's King Philippe, center right, and Belgium's Queen Mathilde, center left, bow their heads after laying a wreath at Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (Thierry Roge, Pool photo via AP)

By    |   Friday, 13 May 2016 09:54 AM

An email meant to prevent a deadly terrorist attack on the Brussels metro in March was reportedly sent to the wrong address.

Belgian police's directorate of operations sent an email ordering the closure of the metro at 9:07 a.m. on March 22, about an hour after deadly explosions rocked the Brussels airport, The Washington Post reported. The email, however, was sent to the wrong address, and a bomb was detonated inside a metro subway train just minutes later, at 9:11 a.m.

The error was revealed by a parliamentary commission established to investigate the March 22 attacks and whether they could have been prevented.

The email was initially sent to the private account of Jo Decuyper, the head of the city's railway police, instead of his official account. But Decuyper said that even if he had received the email when it was sent, it wouldn't have prevented the deadly blast. Evacuating the system takes 30 minutes, he explained.

Decuyper was informed by military police at 8:03 a.m. that the airport explosions that killed 16 people were suicide bombings, CNN reported. That information came an hour before a third attacker killed 16 more people at the Maelbeek metro station.

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Belgium's Federal Crisis Center first issued an alert at 8:50 a.m., including an order to close the metro and the main railway stations in Brussels. The alert never reached the relevant authorities, and the system wasn't evacuated until after the third attack.

Communication systems were disrupted during the attacks, The Daily Mail reported. Decuyper told lawmakers that a national emergency communications network known as ASTRID didn't function well, and that some text messages failed to send.

The email issue has raised questions about authorities' ability to address terrorist threats in Belgium, which has Europe's highest per capita ratio of Islamic State sympathizers, The Washington Post said.

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An email meant to prevent a deadly terrorist attack on the Brussels metro in March was reportedly sent to the wrong address.
brussels, email, wrong, address, terrorist attack
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2016-54-13
Friday, 13 May 2016 09:54 AM
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