UPDATED: Friday, March 25 9:32 AM EST
At least two Americans have been confirmed killed in the Brussels terror attacks, reports The Associated Press. The news comes as Secretary of State John Kerry paid a visit to the beleaguered city. The twin attacks killed 31 people and wounded 270.
From the New York Daily News:
A pair of New York City siblings was killed in the Tuesday terror attacks on Brussels, a family friend confirmed Friday.
Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski were on the phone with a relative when twin bombs went off at the city’s airport. The family member on the line heard explosions and shattering glass — and then the call dropped.
“The Pinczowski family confirms that their children Sascha and Alexander died during the attacks in Brussels,” Fans Van Herteren said in a statement Friday. “The family would like to express their gratitude for all the compassion and they now need time to grieve.”
BBC News reports that 10 suspects have been arrested in three European countries in an effort to thwart further attacks after the Brussels bombings. Seven were arrested in Brussels, two reportedly in Germany, and one in Paris, the report says.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has trained at least 400 fighters to “target Europe in deadly waves of attacks, deploying interlocking terror cells like the ones that struck Brussels and Paris with orders to choose the time, place and method for maximum carnage,” according to the Associated Press.
French Senator Nathalie Goulet, co-head of a commission tracking jihadi networks, agreed that “estimates range from 400 to 600 ISIS fighters trained specifically for external attacks, according to the officials. Some 5,000 Europeans have gone to Syria.”
Killers in the units “are trained in battleground strategies, explosives, surveillance techniques and counter surveillance,” the report says.
From The AP:
French speakers with links to North Africa, France and Belgium appear to be leading the units and are responsible for developing attack strategies in Europe, said a European security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about briefing material. He is also familiar with interrogations of former fighters who have returned to Europe. Some were jailed after leaving ISIS while others were kicked out of the terror group. The fighters include Muslims and Muslim converts from all across Europe.
Fighters in the units are trained in battleground strategies, explosives, surveillance techniques and counter surveillance, the security official said.
Before the Paris terror attacks in 2015, ISIS killers were only given a couple weeks of training. Now, special units have been set up, including longer and more in-depth orientation, the report says.
SOURCE: CBS News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty