Fallin, Lankford extend condolences to Brussels

Posted at 6:53 AM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 17:51:35-04

With Europe heightening security, below are the reactions, updates from around the United States following the attacks in Brussels. 

Oklahoma State Univ. Communications confirmed that one student is studying abroad in Brussels and is safe. 

Tulsa International Airport says the Tulsa Police Bomb Squad is intending to increase its presence in the airport following the attacks. 

Senator James Lankford sent a statement regarding the attacks saying, “I pray for Belgium and all of Europe as they recover from today’s tragic events. Today is another reminder that terrorists, with all their hate, will not deter the resolve of the American people to stand up for what is right. The United States will stand by our allies and help however we can. Terror will never win—no matter how determined and ruthless the enemy. As a Member of the Senate Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees, I want to, once again, thank our national heroes—the intelligence and law enforcement officers who work tirelessly, and the members of our military on the front lines of the counterterrorism fight."

2 Works for You spoke with Senator James Lankford regarding the explosions at Brussels. Watch the full interview in the player above. 

Congressman Tom Cole also sent a statement, “I am deeply grieved to hear of the despicable acts of terror in Brussels,” said Cole. “Without question, my prayers and thoughts are with our Belgian allies as they face this unexpected and truly horrific tragedy. Unfortunately, these senseless attacks are a sobering reminder that, due to the rapidly-spreading influence and violence of ISIS beyond its center in the Middle East, the world we once knew is not safe. Unless and until we stand in strong resolve with our allies, conflicts around the world are only likely to escalate. In the days ahead, we must be vigilant in not only identifying terrorist threats but decisive in defeating them.”

President Barack Obama, traveling in Cuba, was briefed Tuesday morning on the Brussels attacks that killed dozens of people. The White House said the U.S. was in contact with Belgian officials about the explosions at the Brussels airport and subway system.

At least one of the attacks was believed to be caused by a suicide bomber, and Belgium raised its terror alert to its highest level.

Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that the U.S. was working "to determine the status of all American citizens in Brussels." The embassy there issued a statement telling Americans to stay where they are and "take the appropriate steps to bolster your personal security."

MORE: Live updates: Dozens killed in Brussels terror attacks | European airports increase security after Brussels attacks | Belgian leader: 'We face a tragic moment'

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, said the attacks "bear all the hallmarks" of an Islamic State group coordinated or inspired attack. He said he received a preliminary briefing Tuesday from U.S. officials. Schiff says it's unclear if encrypted communications played a role in the attacks but noted that the Brussels attacks occurred despite the city being under constant vigilance.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it was closely monitoring the unfolding events and "would not hesitate to adjust our security posture, as appropriate, to protect the American people."

DHS reiterated that members of the public should report any suspicious activity in their communities to law enforcement authorities.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch was also briefed on the attacks, Justice Department officials in Washington said. They said the Justice Department and the FBI was coordinating with other U.S. government agencies, as well as with Belgian counterparts.

Last week U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Homeland Security officials constantly monitor world events and evaluate whether there is a need to either publicly raise the nation's security posture or issue another bulletin via the government's National Terror Advisory System.

Such a bulletin was issued in December advising the public that federal law enforcement was concerned about the possibility of homegrown violent extremists and terrorist-inspired individuals.