House Intelligence Committee Chairman Suggests Brussels Bombers Targeted Americans

PHOTO: Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., participates in the news conference with the Republican members of the California congressional delegation to discuss California water legislation in the Capitol, Dec. 11, 2015.PlayBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call,Inc./Getty Images
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The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that he believes the Brussels attackers appeared to target Americans in their sophisticated series of bombings in the European capital Monday.

“From my vantage point it does look like an attack on Americans,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, told reporters on Capitol Hill shortly after a briefing on the attacks.

The California Republican pointed to the location of the first bombers at the airport, “which was right by United, American and Delta airline stands,” and that the metro bombing occurred close to the US Embassy, to support his claim.

“I just think that the locations of these [attacks], to me … appear to be where you can likely hit Americans,” said Nunes, who has been briefed several times on the attacks by intelligence agencies.

Nunes said “we may never know” the attackers’ intended targets definitively when a reporter pointed out that American Airlines said they did not believe they were targeted in the bombing at Brussels' airport.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, also said he believed the attackers targeted Americans in an interview Tuesday.

Nunes said that it was too early to determine whether ISIS exerted any control or directed the attacks, or whether the attackers used encrypted communications. He also said officials do not yet know the identity of the third attacker.

He also said it “appears” that the attackers were tied to the Paris plot through Saleh Abdeslam, a surviving suspect of the Paris attacks, and believes the cell is “much larger” than the attackers known to the public.