U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels and pledges further U.S. support to Belgium and the EU in tackling Islamist militant threats. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday (March 25) pledged further U.S. help to Belgium and the EU in tackling Islamist militant threats after Tuesday's suicide bombings in Brussels and a U.S. official said two Americans were among the 31 dead. Kerry said the attacks reminded him of the solidarity offered to the U.S. by Belgium in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and said the U.S. now gives its support to Belgium. 'Je suis Bruxellois', Kerry said -- 'I am Belgian', a play on the 'Je suis Charlie' slogan that became popular after the militant attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris last year. Kerry also dismissed criticism of Belgium's failure to track Islamic State militants before the attacks as a tendency to "jump to conclusions", but said there was room for improving anti-terrorism cooperation among European Union nations. Belgium has drawn international criticism for security lapses in the run-up to the bombings in Brussels airport and a metro station which, in addition to the 31 dead, injured around 270 people. The U.S. official declined to name the Americans killed until their next of kin had been notified. Kerry said the United States was working with the Belgian government before the attacks and had a "foreign fighter surge team" in Brussels in February to work on specific counter-terrorism efforts. There were also a number of counter-terrorism initiatives already scheduled to take place in Brussels before the attacks occurred to help detect suspected jihadists, he said.