This post has been updated.
Rhode Island’s senior U.S. Senator says the terrorist attacks in Brussels appear similar to other attacks with ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Speaking just prior to an unrelated event in Providence Tuesday morning, Reed expressed sympathy for the victims of a pair of bombings, which exploded during the Belgian capital's morning rush hour.
"This is a tragic situation and obviously our hearts go out to the victims," Reed said. "The attack has the earmarks of an ISIS attack, either directed or inspired in some way."
Reed, who is a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, suggested the next step should be to uncover the network responsible for the Brussels attacks, and try to dismantle or at least weaken it.
"And also to continue to put pressure on ISIS in Syria and Iraq or wherever it appears so that they cannot organize these types of attacks or inspire these types of attacks anywhere," Reed said.
At least two dozen people are reported dead and more than 150 wounded in the explosions in Brussels. Reed said there may be some connection to the arrest earlier this week of Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the November terrorist attacks in Paris. The Islamic State terrorist group is claiming responsibility for the attacks.
Governor Gina Raimondo is offering condolences to the families and friends of those affected by Tuesday morning attacks.
“Obviously our hearts go out to the families who were hurt in that attack. It shakes us all when that happens anywhere,” said Raimondo. “Having said that we’re on it and we’re increasing our vigilance, and being that much more careful in light of the events.”
Raimondo said she’s been speaking with local security and law enforcement.
“Today, I’ve been in touch with colonel of the state police, and the head of the National Guard, and the head of our emergency management agency, so Rhode Islanders should feel safe and secure,” said Raimondo. There is no reason to think that there’s any increased threat to Rhode Island, so Rhode Islanders should feel safe and secure.