On the night of Friday, November 13, several terrorist attacks occurred in the city of Paris, claiming the lives of 132 people and leaving more than 350 people wounded, the majority French citizens. The Islamic State (IS) soon claimed responsibility for the horrific attacks, leading France to vow revenge. President Francois Hollande deemed the shootings and bombings “an act of war.” He also said that “[France] will lead the fight, and [it] will be ruthless.” On Sunday, the French Defense Ministry announced that France was carrying out a massive airstrike of twenty (20) bombs, from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, on an IS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, striking dozens of targets.
U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the Paris terror attacks, calling them an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” and pledging U.S. government assistance to France. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. Embassy in Paris is “making every effort to account for the welfare of American citizens in the city, and in the days ahead we stand ready to provide whatever support the French government may require.” The Wall Street Journal has recently reported that the U.S. is already sharing intelligence information with the French government. The main Muslim authorities around the world, for their part, have unreservedly condemned the string of attacks. Such reactions were shared by the various branches of Islam, both Shiite and Sunni, as well as most of the Islamist political parties with institutional vocation.
The possibility that the Paris gunmen knew how to evade the Western encryption dragnet has been laid on the table. This would mean that a new age of terrorism has developed, to the point that allied intelligence and law enforcement will have to rethink their entire approach to counterterrorism, much as they did after 9/11. Meanwhile, France has not discarded looking for assistance from international organizations, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or the United Nations (UN).
Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski
For more information:
The Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/nov/15/paris-attacker-named-investigation-continues-live-updates [Live Updates]
Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/paris-attacks-implications-2015-11