TERRORISM: String of Terror Attacks Kill, Maim Hundreds in Paris
Paris Attacked, Again.
As many as eight terrorists launched a series of shootings and bombings across Paris Friday (November 13) — from an international soccer match that the French president was attending to restaurants and neighborhood cafes, killing more than 100 people and wounding hundreds more, French officials said.
The situation is still fluid and casualty figures — as well as the number of attackers — have been changing throughout the night in reports from numerous news outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, BBC, Reuters and CNN.
French President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency and closed all French borders to facilitate the capture of any of the attackers still at large and to keep other terrorists from entering the country. “As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area,” he said Friday evening adding: “It is a horror.”
Hollande said he had “mobilized all forces possible to neutralize the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place.” As many as 1,500 troops were immediately mobilized in and around the city.
In Washington, President Obama said the attack was “not just on Paris,” and “not just on the people of France.” He added: “this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.” Obama pledged to “stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need to respond. France is our oldest ally. The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again. And we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism.”
Through the night, talking heads on television speculated on who could be behind the attacks, how they had managed to evade detection of such a large operation and what it means for Europe, the United States and the rest of the world.
Your 4GWAR editor has some questions and observations that we think could be key in coming days.
First, any way you look at it, this is an intelligence failure — an intelligence disaster — for France and its allies. There are reports that various intelligence agencies detected no chatter or unusual activity to indicate such a big operation in the days leading up to the attacks. Have the plotters discovered a new way to communicate with each other without using mobile phones, email or other electronic devices.?Have they resorted to the old New York Mafia ploy of meeting in crowded public places to avoid wire taps and video surveillance?
Many pundits believe the attacks were a well planned and executed operation by a presumably large network, but we wonder why the bombs at the soccer match went off outside the stadium harming few besides the suicide bombers. Were the attackers blocked at the gate? Did they panic and just blow themselves up to avoid capture or achieve martyrdom? Did they know Hollande would be at the game, and if so, why didn’t they plant more explosives around the stadium — like in stairwells — to cause more panic and possibly a fatal stampede?
If this attack were so well organized, why were there no secondary blasts and shootings to kill and maim first responders arriving after the initial carnage — as often happened in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Were these attacks actually prompted in response to the reported killing of ISIS executioner Jihadi John in a U.S. airstrike … or the Kurdish offensive against the Islamic State in Iraq, backed by U.S. and allied airpower?
Stay tuned. We expect much will be learned in the next few days.
Entry filed under: Counter Terrorism, Homeland Security, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: counter terrorism, France, Islamic State, Paris terrorist attacks November 13, President Francois Hollande, Topics.