‘Liege rampage was not an isolated event’
As crowds of terrified shoppers fled down the cobblestone streets of central Liege on Tuesday, explosions and a hail of bullets filled the air.
While it was initially reported that as many as three attackers lobbed grenades before opening fire on a crowd of Christmas shoppers, Belgian authorities have determined that 33-year-old Liege resident Nordine Amrani was the sole attacker.
Amrani, who had served time in jail for firearms and drug offenses, had been called in for questioning on Tuesday in a sexual abuse case.
While two teenage boys and an elderly woman died at the scene of the attack, an 18-month toddler would later die in the hospital.
It was also reported Wednesday that the body of a cleaning woman was found at a warehouse used by Amrani prior to the attack.
Amrani also died, though it is yet to be determined if he committed suicide or died accidentally.
Five of those injured in Tuesday's carnage remain in intensive care, while dozens more have been treated for shock.
Smoke and mirrors?
But as the country reels from the tragic loss, Patrick Henningsen told RT that Belgian authorities might very well be attempting to cover up the true nature of Tuesday’s events.
“The initial reports out of Belgium are that there were actually several attackers… Now the authorities across most of the mainstream media are saying there was a lone gunman…so there’s already some confusion or smoke and cover-up regarding this event.”
While Henningsen said it would take time to determine just what happened on Tuesday, he was shocked that Belgian authorities including Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo were so quick to discount that it was a terrorist attack.
“By definition it is a terrorist event, whether we know the motivation or not. It’s a random act of violence against a lot of people to create some kind of an effect, so reports will still come in and I think the truth will hash itself out as we learn more about this story.”
As Italy was also struck by a bloody attack on Tuesday as a right-wing extremist shot dead two Senegalese vendors in Florence, Henningsen argues that authorities are refusing to connect the dots regarding the tragic string of attacks across Europe, which started in Norway in July.
“The Norway shooting was a few months earlier. Last week we had a letter bomb sent to the head of the Italian tax agency, and another letter bomb was sent to the CEO of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt from the informal anarchist bloc out of Italy. So already there’s a kind of domestic terror series of events that we’ve seen over the last six months.”
Henningsen argues there could be a method to all this madness, as a clandestine post-war operation known as Operation Gladio might shed light on the seemingly random acts of violence that have struck across Europe.
“Just a few short years ago, Operation Gladio was a terror organization originally started as a stay-behind operation after World War II to fight communists all around Europe, but it turned into a state-sponsored one, where NATO was running the domestic terror and it was funded and sponsored by the CIA – it’s completely documented.”
“Now Gladio was designed to influence policy and eventually it was used by the United States to influence European policy over the long stretch. An arc of tension was also in their manifesto…and that was based out of Belgium. Towards the end of the operation, it culminated with the Bologna bombings, terrorist bombings in 1980, where a bomb was exploded at Bologna station and killed dozens of people. So history can sometimes give us an idea of what is going on while we’re waiting for the answers to come in,” Henningsen concluded.