(VOA NEWS) — U.S. officials have renewed calls to defeat Islamic State and are taking immediate protective steps against new terrorist attacks, after Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for three deadly explosions in Brussels.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the U.S. and its allies will “do everything we can to protect our homelands” from terrorism.
“No attack will affect our resolve to accelerate the defeat of ISIL,” Carter said Tuesday on Capitol Hill, using an acronym for the Islamic State terror group.
After explosions ripped through the airport and a subway station near the European Union headquarters, the U.S. embassy in Brussels has recommended Americans stay where they are and avoid public transportation in the Belgian capital. It said U.S. citizens there should monitor media reports, follow instructions from authorities and “take the appropriate steps to bolster your personal security.”
The U.S. Homeland Security agency said it is closely monitoring developments in the Brussels attacks and “will not hesitate to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people.” It urged the public to immediately report any suspicious activity to local authorities wherever they are.
One senior U.S. intelligence official said, “The intelligence community continues to assess the situation in Brussels and is staying in close contact with our Belgian and European partners.”
Speaking in a House Armed Services committee hearing Tuesday with Secretary Carter, General Joe Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for more intelligence sharing among international allies.
“There’s a lot of walls to break down in order for us to be effective,” said Dunford, adding that more than 100 nations have foreign fighters who have joined up with Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria. READ MORE OF THIS STORY