Costa Rica tightens airport security in wake of Brussels attacks

Terror attacks Tuesday in Belgium resonated in Costa Rica where well-off residents and expats are frequent air travelers. The terrorist attacks killed 34 persons and left more than 230 injured, according to wire service reports.

Airport police here reported that in the wake of the attacks, security was reinforced at Juan Santmaría airport and Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública officials were urging air travelers to arrive at the airports at least three hours before flight time because their possessions would be undergoing multiple checks.

Three terrorist at the Zaventem airport in Brussels brought their bombs into the terminal inside luggage, and they placed them on baggage carts. Two of the three bombs exploded, killing two terrorists.

A released photograph taken from closed-circuit television shows a man wearing a black hat, a light-colored jacket, and sunglasses pushing an airport luggage cart alongside two other men who are believed to have been the suicide bombers, wire services said.

The Partido Liberación Nacional joined President Luis Guillermo Solís in expressing solidarity with the European people. Liberación condemned the attacks and urged the international community to seek strategies to achieve peace and security.

Solís called the attack barbaric and said that there was no justification except the rejection of the most high and sacred value of the human family.

At least two Costa Ricans were in the vicinity of the airport when the bombs when off, said the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto. They were reported to be unhurt. Four U.S. Mormon missionaries were reported injured.

The Islamic State took responsibility. One of the attacks was at the Maalbeek metro station near government offices. The two dead bombers were brothers, police in Belgium concluded early today.

Expats traveling north also will find beefed-up security in the United States as a result of the attacks.

Belgium has become the unlikely war zone because it was the staging site for the Paris attacks in November and is believed to be the location of several Islamic State cells.

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