Brussels to Istanbul: Two airports, two bloody attacks

01:20 - Source: CNN
Istanbul airport tries to return to normalcy
Istanbul CNN —  

This morning I stood outside Istanbul airport reporting on a complex attack, which bore all the hallmarks we’ve come to associate with the deadly ambitions of ISIS.

I was alongside shocked Turkish reporters delivering their live updates.

It felt horribly familiar. In March I stood in front of Brussels’ airport alongside similarly uncomprehending Belgian reporters.

All of us are unable to understand how the specter of terror that had loomed over Belgium for so long had managed to materialize in such a sickeningly real way, and in spite of all the warnings.

Turkey is of course different in some very important ways. For much of this year it has reeled from one terror attack after another.

The speed of the clean-up at Istanbul Ataturk Airport is testament to a country that is all too used to putting the pieces back together as speedily and as efficiently as possible. The detonation site near the taxi drop-off point, where the blast ripped through the tarmac, wasn’t easy to patch up, so instead workmen erected barriers – after hosing down the blood.

The methods were eerily reminiscent of Brussels.

In Istanbul, there were three attackers, one in a coat in spite of the mildness of the weather.

00:59 - Source: CNN
Brussels under attack

They were so reminiscent of another three men – one the infamous “man in a hat and white coat” – captured on security footage in the Brussels airport attack.

Both in Istanbul and in Brussels, the attackers targeted points of vulnerability and congregation before the security checks.

But it’s in the testimonies of fleeing witnesses that the similarities really hit home in an echoed litany of horror.

Shattered ceiling panes slashing survivors, wreaking damage on those far from the epicenter of the blast. Panicked passengers slipping and sliding over blood-soaked floors.