ISIS Targets France
Last Friday, ISIS-inspired terrorists murdered 129 people and injured hundreds more in a series of attacks using automatic weapons and explosives.
Targeted were a music venue, a sports stadium and several restaurants.
France has apparently taken an aggressive role in combating ISIS in Syria and elsewhere and may be paying the price at home.
Inspired by God and the Internet
An especial quandary with ISIS and Al Qaeda soldiers is not just their willingness to die but their belief that a jihad-inspired death guarantees entry into “paradise”.
These “soldiers of god” are mostly young and come from places where the concept of “hope”, at least as we understand it, does not exist.
American converts to violent Jihad are often recruited via the internet, even from middle-class homes, including college-educated adherents with seemingly bright prospects, an especially ominous sign.
Jihadist religion and its certitude, delivered direct to your “smartphone” falls far outside the realm of “normal” interdiction resources and options.
Jihadists are here among us having both the motive and means and only lacking the fervor to act.
Slipping Through the Cracks
The Guardian reports thatÂ Omar IsmaÃ¯l Mostefai, one of the Bataclan gunman, “had been flagged as a potential target for radicalisation as early as 2010…”
They also reported thatÂ Salah Abdeslam, another of the terrorists, was stopped hours after the attacks by police “in a routine check near the French-Belgian border early on Saturday morning, just hours after the attacks…” and then let go.
Today’s Times say, “Samy Amimour, who blew himself up at the Bataclan concert hall …was known to the French authorities, having been charged in October 2012 with criminal terrorist conspiracy.”
They can neither be stopped before nor after committing their mayhem.
But, Biggest Attack Foiled
As ghastly as the Bataclan attack was and is, there can be little doubt that the terrorists failed in what would have been their largest prize: simultaneous suicide bombings inside a stadium, theÂ Stade de France, with 80,000 fans, one of whom was the president of France.
And here, a point to ponder.
There was apparently no high-tech system in place, only a simple pat-down by a security guard who spotted the explosives which caused the bombers to back away and detonate their vests outside the venue.
The simplest line of defense, a quick pat-down which we have all experienced, was enough to thwart their operation.
It puts grumbling about security in a whole new light.
Scrutiny, surely a form of “situational awareness” is effective.
Ironically, if increased awareness is essential to keeping us safe, we are all in trouble.
Now, more than ever, people are visually engrossed in their “smartphones” oblivious to the world around them, even as danger approaches.
Perhaps they are studying jihadist theology.