NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Experts warn it is not a question of it, but when, a similar terror attack that struck Brussels Tuesday will happen in New York.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has taken responsibility for the attacks at the Brussels Airport and metro station that left more than 30 dead, and 214 wounded.
During the chaos that followed, travelers tripped over debris, rummaged for phones, clutched their luggage and one even carried a large bouquet of flowers through a darkened metro tunnel.
Former FBI Agent Manuel Gomez told CBS2’s Maurice DuBois that these people had no leadership following the attacks.
“People should have been told leave your luggage, put up your hands, line up in an orderly fashion and we’re going out in this exit,” Gomez said.
Despite an airport worker asking those to leave their luggage, travelers still held onto their bags.
“At this point, we don’t know who is friend or foe and any of these people could have been another bomber. What do they have in their luggage? What do they have on their person?” Gomez said.
Gomez explained people shouldn’t be on their phones during this time of crisis.
“You don’t want to be on your phone, you want to be thinking clearly,” Gomez told CBS2. “Do that after you’re OK.”
Gomez also said for those who were on trains at the time of the bombing, they should wait for authorities to show up before trying to escape.
“The training here goes like this – wait for law enforcement. We have to keep in mind there is 600 volts under those trains and you could get electrocuted,” he told CBS2. “Furthermore, those trains are six feet off the ground. If you jump, you could sprain your ankle.”
Gomez said it all comes down to intelligence and action beating reaction in the end.
“The NYPD and the FBI have been very successful at identifying potential attackers, putting undercovers into that environment, up to and almost including a potential attack,” Gomez said.
Experts also say that if people can’t run during an attack, hide behind something substantial and always silence cellphones.